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MANILA, Philippines – Eumir Marcial wondered whether he would be able to return to the Olympics.
Organizers for the 2024 Paris Games in France scrapped his original weight class of men’s 75kg, where he won an Olympic boxing bronze in Tokyo, Japan two years ago.
Marcial got his answer on Wednesday, October 4, as he punched his Olympic ticket after advancing to the men’s 80kg final of the Asian Games with a second-round knockout of Syria’s Ahmad Ghousoon.
“I already lost hope,” an emotional Marcial told reporters in Filipino, as posted by One Sports. “My division got removed from the Olympics. I thought the Olympics is not for me anymore.”
Marcial considered putting all of his attention to his career in the professional ranks, where he is a perfect 4-0.
But after much convincing from his family, especially his wife Princess, Marcial opted to move up in weight and gave his Olympic dreams another shot by seeing action in the Asian Games.
“She told me that I can do it and that I should do it if there is an opportunity,” said Marcial.
That decision bore fruit as the Zamboangueño slugger demolished all of his foes on the way to the gold-medal match, where he will face China’s Tuohetaerbieke Tanglatihan on Thursday, October 5.
Marcial earned a pair of unanimous decision wins over Mongolia’s Dalai Ganzorig and Vietnam’s Nguyen Manh Cuong, then claimed a knockout victory against Thailand’s Weerapon Jongjoho to secure his place in the final four.
Packing lethal power in his right hook, Marcial scored a second straight stoppage win as he floored Ghousoon to reach the final – a feat that merits an outright berth in Paris.
“He is very focused and dedicated and he has trained well not only for the Asian Games but also for his Olympic qualification,” said Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino.
Another victory will see Marcial capture the Philippines’ first gold medal in Asian Games boxing since Rey Saludar reigned in the men’s 52kg in 2010. – Rappler.com