Southeast Asian Games gold medalist welterweight Eumir Felix Marcial survived a grueling fight against Youba Sissokho of Spain with a split decision in the last day of the preliminary round of the World Boxing Championship Olympic qualifiers at the Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiya Stadium in Doha, Qatar.
The Russian judge and the Turkish judge favored the 19-year old Marcial 29-28 allowing the Filipino to win by split decision. The Uzbek judge though favored the 23-year-old Sissokho 29-28.
Marcial managed to hit Sissokho with solid punch¬es in the first three rounds but the Spaniard refused to go down.
“I threw combinations and heavy ones at that, I actually thought I won all the rounds. But it’s okay, the important thing is we won and our Olympic dream is alive,” said Marcial, a native of Zamboanga.
Marcial in his opening bout, defeated Egyptian Said Mohamed Walid via first round technical knockout.
Marcial will take on World no.1 Daniyar Yeleus¬sinov of Kazakhstan in the quarterfinals while another Filipino pug in the meet, light flyweight Rogen La¬don, will face Dawid Jagodzinski of Poland also in the quarterfinals.
Ladon made it to the quar¬terfinals after beating Me¬xi¬can Joselito Velas¬quez Altamirano.
Eighth weight world division champion Manny Pac¬quiao arrived in Doha on Thursday to show his support to his compatriots competing in the World Championship.
Pacquiao promised to give cash reward of P500,000 to each of his compatriots if they could win the championship. Pacman also promised a reward of a P5M to any Filipino Olympian who can win a gold medal in the Rio Olympics next year.
Both Marcial and Ladon need to win their next two bouts in order to secure an Olympics berth.