HANGZHOU – Eumir Marcial shrugged off some anxious moments in the opening round to score a stirring knockout of Weerapong JongJoho and claim a seat in the semifinals of the 19th Asian Games boxing competitions late Sunday night.
The 27-year-old Olympian set up his Thai opponent with a perfect right hook that put JongJoho down on the canvas to hack out the impressive win before an animated crowd at the Hangzhou gymnasium.
The end came with 14 seconds left in the second round.
Marcial is now assured of the bronze medal in the men's 80 kg class, but has a shot of advancing in the gold medal round should he get past Ahmad Ghousoon of Syria in Wednesday's semifinals.
For a while, a podium finish was hanging in the air for Marcial after JongJoho tagged him with a straight right that wobbled his legs, prompting the referee to give him a standing eight count.
"Yes, nahilo ako nung tinamaan niya ako. Kasi makikita nyo naman yung size ng kalaban ko sobrang laki (Yes, I was dizzy when he hit me. Because you can see the size of my opponent is very big)," said Marcial of his 6-foot-1 Thai opponent, who beat John Marvin for the light-heavyweight gold of the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia.
But having been to a lot of wars, the Olympic bronze medalist didn't panic and kept his composure.
"Pero tinitingnan ko yung oras. Sabi ko last one minute ibubuhos ko na ito. Ayun, lumabas yung resulta (But I look at the time. I said last minute I will give it my all. Well, the result came out)," said Marcial as he lets out a holler.
It was a perfect right hook Marcial delivered that JongJoho didn't know what exactly hit him when he stood up as the referee guided him to his corner.
"Sabi ko makatama ka lang ng isang beses, mananalo tayo (I said you only hit once, and we’ll win)," said head coach Ronald Chavez.
Now Ghousoon awaits Marcial in the semis set on Wednesday.
The Syrian fighter won by unanimous decision, 5-0, against Shabbos Negmatulloev of Tajikistan in the other quarterfinal match. PR