FILIPINO national boxer Eumir Felix Marcial barged into the finals of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) World Elite Men’s Boxing Championships in Ekaterinburg, Russia on Friday (Saturday in Manila) with a scintillating win over third-seeded Tursynbay Kulakhmet of Kazakhstan.
Marcial, a southpaw, punctuated his 5-0 victory with a spectacular knockdown behind a cracking right-left combination that found it’s mark midway in the first round.
The 23-year-old Philippine Air Force man then picked his shots and coasted to victory over an opponent who, like him, won a gold medal in the 2013 Asian Junior Championships in Subic.
Kulakhmet won in the middleweight division then, while Marcial was champion in the light welterweight (64-kilogram) class.
Two years before (2011), the gangling 15-year-old boy from Zamboanga won the AIBA World Junior Championships in the 52 kg class in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Marcial faces hometown boy Gleb Bakshi of Russia in Saturday’s 75 kg (middleweight) finals.
Only nine countries are represented in the finals: Uzbekistan (4), Russia (3), Cuba (2) Kazakhstan (2) and one each from Ecuador, England, India, Philippines and the United States.
“This is a happy development for our preparations for the SEA Games and the Olympics. We wish Eumir well and hope for a favorable outcome. I congratulate the coaching staff for their outstanding work and I would like to make special mention of the support of the Philippine Sports Commission for making our participation in this World Championships possible,” said Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines President Ricky Vargas.