Tokyo Olympics-bound Eumir Marcial stamped his class on the middleweight division of the 2020 Asia and Oceania Olympic Boxing Qualifiers, capping his run with a split decision win over Kazakhstan’s Abilkhan Amankul, Thursday (Manila time).
The finale in the Prince Hamzeh Hall, Sport City in Amman, Jordan saw Marcial and Amankul figure in a clash of styles. And it was quickly visible during the opening round, with Marcial as the quicker boxer while Amankul was the slugger.
“Despite my struggle, my trials, nothing is impossible to God. My teammates and coaches know what I went through, but they still believed I can get the gold medal,” Marcial said.
In the second stanza, Marcial was able to land a powerful shot to the body, stunning Amankul and leading to a 3-2 scorecard.
Fatigue clearly set in the two warriors in the third stanza, as the action slowed down. Marcial dropped seconds before the final bell but, fortunately for him, it was ruled a slip.
“I’m very happy because I defended my rank in this tournament,” the 24-year-old native of Lunzuran, Zamboanga City said, as he was able to prove why he entered the tournament as the top seed.
It was a long road for Marcial in the seven-day, Grand Prix-style tourney.
He opened his campaign with a unanimous decision win over Australia’s Kirra Ruston. He followed it up with a third round stoppage of Mongolia’s Byamba-Erdene Otgonbaatar to punch his ticket to the Games.
Not settling for anything less than gold, Marcial eked out a split decision win over India’s Ashish Kumar to advance to the finale.