KUALA LUMPUR — Three Filipino boxers go for automatic bronze medals when the SEA Games competition begins on Sunday.
Eumir Felix Marcial battles Nguyen Manh Cuong of Vietnam in a quarterfinal bout, while Mario Fernandez goes up against Maung Nge of Myanmar in the bantamweight division.
Ian Clark Bautista is also aiming for an automatic medal podium finish on Sunday when he goes up against Abdul Salam Kasim of Malaysia in the flyweight class.
Youth medalist Carlo Paalam and Filipino-British boxer John Marvin, meanwhile, drew byes in the opening rounds in their respective divisions.
Marvin is very confident about his chances.
Asked in an interview in Manila who he sees as the toughest opponent in the middleweight division, Marvin simply replied “None.”
Marvin is the newest discovery by the Philippine team, spotted competing for the British Army boxing team.
"There was a competition going on in Europe. The Philippine boxing team was there and my coach was the head of the Army boxing team told them that I was half-Filipino. The team mentioned that you can come and box with us.
"We got in touch and eventually, I'm here," said Marvin.
Also making his debut in the SEA Games is 19-year-old Carlo Paalam.
Paalam took the bronze medal in the light flyweight division of the 2016 Aiba Youth World Championship.
"'Yung 49, marami akong katimbang, ako ang napili nila. Nagpursigi talaga ako sa bilis at disiplina," said Paalam.