EUMIR Felix Marcial moved a step closer to a berth in the Tokyo Olympics following a dominant win over Kirra Ruston of Australia on Thursday in the Asian-Oceania Boxing Qualification Tournament in Amman, Jordan.
The Filipino middleweight, seeded in the 75 kg division following his silver medal finish in the AIBA World Championships last year, scored a 5-0 shutout over his Australian foe to book a seat in the quarterfinals at the Prince Hamzah Sport Hall.
Marcial will now face the winner of the match between Ahmad Ghousoon of Syria and Mongolian Otgonbaatar Byamba-Erdene, needing only a win to seal a place in the Tokyo Olympics in July.
All semifinalists here gain a ticket to the Tokyo Games.
Also reaching the quarterfinals was Filipina boxer Rizza Pasuit, a 3-2 winner over Saya Hamamoto of Japan in their Round of 16 match in the lightweight (60 kg) division.
The twin victories kept the compact seven-man Philippine team perfect at 4-of-4 after early wins by Ian Clark Bautista and world champion Nesthy Petecio in the first two days of the tournament.
Still to see action for Team Philippines are James Palicte and Carlo Paalam.
Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) secretary-general Ed Picson expressed jubilation over the performance of the team so far.
"Of course, we're happy. But as our president Ricky Vargas reminded us over long distance, it only gets tougher. Not only will the opposition be better, but eveyrone is looking to beat us now," he said.
"But credit to our coaches, the support of the PSC and MVP Sports Foundation, and the prayers of our people, our boxers were given ample training to prepare for this. We're still optimistic, but guardedly so."