YEREVAN, Armenia – Eumir Felix Marcial, the 2011 AIBA world junior champion, celebrated his debut in the World Youth Championships at the Karen Demirchyan Sports Complex in this chilly ancient city with a close win over Kazakhstan National Youth champion Timur Pirnazarov, 15-14 on Friday.
The tournament, which drew 367 boxers from 68 countries worldwide, features boxers in the 17-18 year old category.
The fight was so close the first two rounds returned scores of 4-4 and 8-8. The two young fighters fought toe to toe and both showed grim determination. The southpaw from Zamboanga, however, was more effective with left straights that repeatedly rocked the Kazakh's head.
Marcial jumped from flyweight (52 kg) to lightweight (60 kg) in the past year. He has also grown an inch and a half since winning the championship in Kazakhstan in July.
At the end of three rounds, four of the five judges gave the fight to Marcial.
ABAP president Ricky Vargas, in a text message to executive director and delegation head Ed Picson, said "that was close, but we'll take the win. Mabuhay ka, Eumir!."
For his part, Marcial said he needs to "loosen up more. Medyo masikip pa po ang pakiramdam. Siguro dahil first bout at yong lamig." But he says that arriving here a few days before the tournament gave them time to somehow adjust. Temperature ranges from -5 to +7C. Forecasters say it is expected to dip even lower in the next few days.
Seeing action next are light flyweight Jade Bornea (49 kg) against Dmitrys Zaharovs of Latvia and bantamweight Jonas Bacho (56 kg) versus veteran internationalist Nursultan Bisanbaye of Uzbekistan.
Flyweight Ian Clark Bautista drew a bye and will have his first bout on Sunday.
The team is coached by national mentors Romeo Brin and Elmer Pamisa.