Durens, Ogayre in ASBC semis

Jere Samuel Dela Cruz of the Philippines, right, connects a jab against Sri Lanka’s Jeewantha Wimukthi Kumara in their lightweight bout in the ASBC Elite Men and Women Boxing Championships Tuesday night, May 25 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (AIBA Images)

Filipino boxers Mark Lester Durens and Junmilardo Ogayre have assured themselves of a bronze medal after they secured semifinal spots following separate wins in the quarterfinal round of the ASBC Elite Men and Women Boxing Championships Tuesday night, May 25 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Durens, who earned a bye in the preliminary round, proved to be too much versus Mansour Khalefah of Kuwait as he won via RSC (Referee Stops Contest) in the first round of their light flyweight (46kg) bout.

Durens will face in the semifinal round Wednesday night Daniyal Sabit of Kazakhstan after the latter scored a 5-0 triumph opposite Kornelis Kwangu Langu of Indonesia.

The other semis pairing is Uzbekistan’s Mirzakhmedov Nodirjon versus Mongolia’s Orkhontungalag Unubold, who stunned top seed Mirlan Turkbai Uulu of Kyrgyzstan with a 3-2 win.

The matches will start at 6 p.m. in Dubai (10 p.m. in Manila).

“Tuloy lang ang laban, may mga boxers tayo na nasa semifinal round na,” said national team coach Roel Velasco, who is in Dubai with fellow coaches Joegin Ladon, Marcus Jarwin Manalo, Mitchel Martinez and Ludy Therese Ceriales.

On the other hand, Ogayre, who also had a bye in the prelims, scored an impressive 5-0 win against Rukmal Prasanna of Sri Lanka in their quarterfinal encounter in the bantamweight category (56kg).

Ogayre will face top seed Mirazizbek Mirzahalilov of Uzbekistan, a 4-1 winner against Indonesia’s Mohammad Hussam Uddin. Also in the semis are Kyrgyzstan’s Esenbek Akylbek and second seed Nharkhuu Enkh-Amar of Mongolia.

Meanwhile, John Paul Panuayan failed in his bid to get to the semis in the light welterweight (54kg) class as he sustained a heartbreaking 3-2 defeat to top seed Bakhodur Usmonov of Tajikistan.

Also, Maricel dela Torre lost to Huswatun Hasanah of Indonesia 5-0 in the quarterfinals of the women's lightweight (60kg).

Three other Filipinos are still in contention, including Tokyo Olympics-bound boxer Eumir Marcial, who had a bye in the prelims as top seed in the middleweight (75kg) category. He will face in the quarters Mongolia’s Otgonbaatar Byamba-Erdene, who earned a 4-1 win against Iraq’s Ridha Talib Jabbar.

Jere Samuel Dela Cruz is also in the quarters after beating Sri Lanka’s Jeewantha Wimukthi Kumara 4-1 in their lightweight (60kg) division. His next opponent is Varinder Singj of India.

Josie Gabuco is already assured of a bronze medal in women’s action as she got a bye in the quarters. She will face in the semifinal of the light flyweight Uzbekistan’s Gulasal Sultonalieva, a 5-0 winner against Rasmika Ilangarathha of Sri Lanka.