BANGKOK – Welterweight Eumir Felix Marcial chalked up win No. 2 for the PLDT-ABAP Philippine team Friday with a convincing victory over Uulu Erkinbek Bolotbrk of Kyrgyzstan at the Thammsat University Gymnasium here.
A gold medalist in the 2011 World Junior Championships, the pride of Zamboanga hardly gave his opponent room to score, carving out a unanimous 3-0 win in his opening match in the ASBC Asian Boxing Championships.
Marcial, also a gold medal winner in the Singapore Southeast Asian Games last June, will next face second seed Israil Madrimov of Uzbekistan in the round-of-16 on Sunday.
Depending on the number of entries, the top six or seven boxers in each of the 10 weight classes here will advance to the AIBA World Championships in Doha, Qatar in October.
The World Championships will serve as qualifier to next year’s Rio Olympics.
Last Thursday, bantamweight Mario Fernandez beat his opponent from Iran, Reza Korzbori, by a similar 3-0 outcome and also moved on to the next round.
The other Filipino boxers here are lightweight Charly Suarez who faces Zakir Safiullin of Kazahkstan Saturday; light-fly Rogen Ladon, set to meet Rakhmankul Avatov of Kyrgyztan on Sunday; and flyweight Ian Clark Bautista, up against Bui Trong Thai of Vietnam on Monday.
Bautista and Fernandez also won the gold in the last SEA Games.
“Felix used his reach advantage well. Mahahaba ang tinapon (He threw long punches). Tumama lang ang kalaban pag nakakadikit (His opponent only landed shots in close range),” said Philippine team head coach Pat Gaspi.
“Five-to-one ang tamaan (It was 5-to-1 in the punches landed),” said Gaspi, now chairman of the ASBC coaches commission and assisted here by Nolito “Boy” Velasco and Reynaldo Galido.
There are close to 200 boxers from 33 countries in this tournament and in some weight classes, there are as many as 20 entries, making it difficult to land even in the top six or top seven.
Ed Picson, executive director of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP), congratulated Marcial on his opening win.
“Felix won handily today but we can be certain that his next fight is not going to be as easy. But he’s as ready as can be,” said Picson, adding that any, if not all of the five Filipino boxers here can make it to Doha in October.