It was a tale of two fates: Eumir Marcial delivered a dominant performance in his light-heavyweight debut, while Irish Magno’s journey came to an end.
The two Olympians experienced contrasting outcomes at the onset of the boxing competitions in the 19th Asian Games.
Marcial, 27, secured an overwhelming 5-0 victory over Dalai Gadzorig of Mongolia at the Hangzhou gymnasium, advancing to the Round of 16 in the men’s 80 kg class.
The Filipino professional boxer had moved up in weight from his previous middleweight division. There, he won a bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympics last year. Although he felt good in his initial bout, Marcial has yet to determine whether he is truly suited for the light-heavyweight category.
“Ok naman yung galaw ko, pero yung fighting weight ko talaga middleweight. Mas komportable talaga ako dun,” mentioned Marcial, who received cheers from notable figures like Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Bambol Tolentino, San Miguel Corp. sports director Alfrancis Chua, PBA chairman Ricky Vargas, and PBA commissioner Willie Marcial.
“Hindi pa natin alam. Yung mga susunod na laban natin, pabigat na ng pabigat yung mga kalaban,” he added, hailing from Zamboanga City.
Meanwhile, the 32-year-old Magno was outmatched by her younger opponent, Nigina Uktamova of Uzbekistan, who defeated her 5-0 in the women’s 54 kg class.
“Pinaghandaan talaga namin kung ano yung fight plan, pero hindi tayo pinalad,” expressed the Tokyo Olympian about Uktamova, a former gold medalist in the World Youth Boxing Championship, who secured a spot in the quarterfinals.
The losses of Magno and Aira Villegas left Olympic silver medalist Nesthy Petecio to carry the torch for the women’s boxing team. The former world champion is scheduled to compete on September 29 against top seed Lin Yu Ting of Chinese-Taipei in the 57 kg class.