Gold-medal chase continues for 3 Pinoy boxers
JAKARTA, Indonesia – Three Filipino boxers climb the ring on Friday, August 31, hoping to beat their respective foes to reach boxing’s gold-medal round in the 2018 Asian Games.
Eumir Felix Marcial, Carlo Paalam and Rogen Ladon hope to stay on track of their bid for a gold to add to the medal haul of a Philippine side that has bagged four gold medals, all courtesy of the country's female bets.
“We have three remaining boxers chasing the elusive medal. Hopefully, they can survive the great odds like they did in the past,” said Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines executive director Ed Picson.
Ladon, Paalam and Marcial have secured at least three bronze medals and will vie to reach the title-round in separate semifinal bouts.
Middleweight fighter Marcial has been tipped to have the biggest chance of advancing, owing to his credentials as a two-time Southeast Games champion and a silver medalist in the 2015 Thailand International Boxing Tournament and the Asian Boxing Championship .
Marcial – whose most impressive performance here was a Referee-Stopped Contest victory against pro boxer Nn Kuok Kun of Macau in the preliminaries – takes to the ring at 7:45 pm (8:45 pm Philippine time) against Uzbekistan’s Israel Madrimov, a 2017 Asian Boxing Champion title holder.
The flyweight Ladon, a 2015 SEA Games silver medalist, battles Thailand’s Tongdee Yuttapong, a recent champion of the 2018 Thailand Boxing Tournament at 2:15 p.m. (3:15 pm Philippine time).
Meanwhile, the light flyweight Paalam, a 2017 Presidents Cup and 2018 Thailand Boxing Tournament titlist, fights India’s Amit, a 2017 Grand Prix Usti and 2018 Strandja Memorial champion, at 6:15 pm (7:15 pm Manila time).
“They have to dismantle all obstacles in the last two stages to reach the podium. It’s a difficult task. I have trust and confidence they can do it because they possess innate boxing skills and experience. They are grizzled veterans and battle-tested,” said Picson.
The last time a Filipino boxer won a gold medal in the Asiad was in the 2010 Guangzhou Games, courtesy of flyweight Rey Saludar.
During the 2014 Incheon Asiad, lightweight Charly Suarez settled for a silver after he was beaten by Mongolia's Otgondalai Dornjyambuu in the finals.
In Jakarta, five Filipino boxers – Joel Bacho, Mario Fernandez, James Palicte, Nesthy Petecio and Irish Magno – bowed out early, leaving the huge task of carrying the fight to Ladon, Marcial and Paalam. – Rappler.com