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    Marcial has walkover into semis, 3 other Pinoys advance in Asian slugfest

    May 27, 2021

    EUMIR Marcial advanced to the semifinals of the ASBC Asian Elite Men’s and Women’s Boxing Championships without hardly a sweat.

    After earning a bye in the preliminaries, the Tokyo Olympic-bound Filipino was declared a walk over winner against Otgonbaatar Byamba-Erdene of Mongolia in their 75 kg quarterfinals match late Wednesday night at the grand ballroom of the Le Meridien Hotel in Dubai.

    The Mongolian bet couldn’t fight after suffering an injury during his preliminary bout against Ridha Talib Jabbar of Iraq.

    The development had the 25-year-old Marcial advancing to the semifinals of the meet and already assured of a bronze medal without having fought yet.

    But in the medal round, the Filipino Olympic hope will face Jafarov Saidjamshid of Uzbekistan, a 5-0 winner over Omurbek Bekzhigit Uulu of Krygyzstan.

    Marcial, the No. 1 seed at middleweight, joins two other members of the Philippine team who clinched berths in the semifinals earlier.

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      Mark Lester Durens and Junmilardo Ogayre also advanced into the medal round after disposing of their respective quarterfinal opponents on Tuesday.

      The 20-year-old Durens, fighting internationally for the very first time, scored an RSC (Referee Stopped Contest) against Mansour Khalefah of Kuwait in the light-flyweight category, while Ogayre, was simply dominant against Sri Lanka’s Rukmal Prasanna to win via a 5-0 shutout in their bantamweight fight.

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      The two young Filipino fighters drew first-round byes.

      Come the semifinals, both Durens and Ogayre will be tested to the hilt.

      Durens will be up against Daniyal Sabit of Kazakhstan, while Ogayre will have his hands full opposite top seed Mirazizbek Mirzahalilov of Uzbekistan.

      Also in the semifinals is former world champion Josie Gabuco, who drew a bye in the quarterfinals of the women’s light-flyweight class, but faces Gulasal Sultonalieva of Uzbekistan for her first match.

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      The semifinals of the meet featuring 150 boxers from 17 different countries is set on Friday.

      So far, half of the eight-man Philippine contingent failed to make it to the medal race.

      Jare Samuel Dela Cruz was the latest casualty after absorbing a 0-5 loss against Varinder Singh of India in the quarterfinals of the men’s 60 kg weight.

      Already relegated to the sidelines were flyweight Marvin Tabamo, lightweight Maricel Dela Torre, and light-welter John Paul Panuayan.

      Coaches of the national team are Olympic bronze medalist Roel Velasco, Asian Women’s Boxing Championships gold winner Mitchel Martinez, and Joegin Ladon, along with sports psychologist Marcus Jarwin Manalo.

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      PHOTO: AP
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