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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Marcial, Paalam shoot for gold-medal round

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Tokyo—Middleweight Eumir Marcial and flyweight Carlo Paalam try to punch their ways to the gold-medal round in the Kokugikan Arena today (Thursday). 

Marcial, Paalam shoot for gold-medal round
Philippines’ Eumir Marcial (blue) celebrates after winning by KO against Armenia’s Arman Darchinyan during their men’s middle (69-75kg) quarter-final boxing match at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo. AFP

The two are one win away from a silver feat and two from gold, but tough assignments await them in the fourth to the last day of boxing action here.

Marcial is up against Ukrainian Oleksandr Khyzhniak, who dealt the Filipino a shattering loss at the Strandja International in Bulgaria in 2019.

Paalam, on the other hand, faces Japanese Ryomei Tanaka, and may need a good performance with convincing shots so as not to let sympathetic judging go the hometown bet’s way.

Paalam will be the first to be up in the ring at 2:30 p.m. (1:30 p.m. in Manila), while Marcial clashes with the Ukrainian at 3:03 p.m.

“Talo si Eumir sa Strandja. Inayaw ko dahil na-injure si Eumir,” said coach Ronald Chavez, believing the result of the Bulgaria showdown would not be an indicative of the Marcial-Khyzhniak rematch here.

Coach Don Abnett, for his part, said Marcial is much stronger now. 

The pride of Zamboanga City has been Mr. Demolition Man here, winning his first two bouts here via the short route, including a knockout triumph last Sunday.

Paalam also scored one of the biggest upsets in the Tokyo Games with his conquest of Rio Games gold medalist Shakhobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan in the quarterfinals.

“We are overjoyed with Carlo’s win over the Rio gold medalist. It was an upset that the coaching staff told me was imminent, but we were still concerned until Carlo came out smoking in the first round. He truly looked like a champion,” said Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines president Ricky Vargas.

The boxing chief has high hopes Paalam will go all the way to win the gold.

“I don’t know much about boxing technique and form but I can tell you Carlo’s a winner,” he said.


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