Singapore Southeast Asian (SEA) Games gold medalist Eumir Felix Marcial will be competing in this year’s edition of the biennial meet slated on August 19 to 30 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Marcial was earlier caught in the dilemma of whether to join the SEA Games or the tougher World Championship in Hamburg, Germany on August 25 to September 2.
Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) executive director Ed Picson relayed to The Manila Times the inclusion of the middleweight Marcial to the SEA Games roster.
“It is our decision to make (Felix) Marcial our sixth boxer in the SEA Games. It is our option to withdraw him from the World Championship. We know he’s capable of winning his second gold in SEA Games,” Picson told The Times in a phone interview.
“So far, his condition looks great and he trains really well,” he added.
Picson said he is very confident that the 21-year-old boxer will win his back-to-back gold medals in the biennial meet.
Marcial qualified for the World Championship in Germany after winning through a box-off in the Asian Elite Boxing Championship last April in Uzbekistan. But the ABAP coaches and Picson decided to include him in the SEA Games roster.
Besides the Zamboanga native Marcial, the other boxers in the Philippine contingent to Kuala Lumpur are light flyweight Carlo Paalam, flyweight Ian Clark Bautista, bantamweight Mario Fernandez, Rio Olympics light welterweight veteran Charly Suarez and Filipino-British light heavyweight John Noble Marvin.
Bautista and Fernandez are also gold medalists in the last 2015 SEA Games in Singapore.
Light flyweight Rogen Ladon and flyweight Daniel Maamo, meanwhile, will compete in the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) World Championships in Germany.
Ladon, a Rio Olympic veteran, and Maamo qualified for the World Championships after winning a bronze medals in the Asian Elite Boxing Championship last April in Uzbekistan.
JOSEF T. RAMOS