Tokyo Olympics-bound boxer Eumir Marcial suffered a stunning setback to Uzbekistan’s Jafarov Saidjamshid in their middleweight class (75kg) semifinal bout in the ASBC Elite Men and Women Boxing Championships Friday night, May 28, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The top seeded boxer in the weight division, Marcial came into the match well-rested as he earned a bye in the preliminary round and had an easy quarterfinal win after his opponent Otgonbaatar Byamba-Erdene of Mongolia withdrew due to a shoulder injury.
The 25-year-old Marcial tried to use his power in the first round but Saidjamshid was able to escape it. Saidjamshid went on to score a unanimous decision victory to advance in the gold medal match.
It showed that Marcial wasn’t in his best condition yet with less than two months before the Tokyo Olympics. In a Facebook post after the fight, he apologized for his performance.
“I would like to express my apologies for not being able to bring home the gold medal,” said Marcial, who turned pro last year and won his debut fight in the US with a UD victory against American Andrew Whitfield last December at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California.
“It may not be the result or outcome we expected but still I want to thank everyone.”
National coach Roel Velasco said that Marcial still has time to improve his game and he needs to focus more on these remaining weeks as he travels to the US again for a training camp in Colorado – where the US team is preparing for the Tokyo Olympics.
“Sa nakikita ko kay may Marcial medyo bumagal siya at kulang pa ang strength (What I saw in Marcial is that he was a bit slow and he lacks the strength),” Velasco said in a message to Manila Bulletin. “Sabi ko nga sa kanya pagbutihan nya na ito at mag focus sa training (I told him to do it better and focus on training).”
“Meroon pa siyang seven weeks na natitira para lalo pa niyang mapagbutihan ang training (He still has seven weeks left for him to improve).”
Two other Filipino boxers in the semifinals, light flyweight (49kg) Mark Lester Durens and bantamweight (56kg) Junmilardo Ogayre also suffered defeats versus their respective foes.
Durens, who triumphed in the quarterfinal with a first round RSC (Referee Stops Contest) against Mansour Khalefah of Kuwait, lost to Daniyal Sabit of Kazakhstan, while Ogayre, a 5-0 winner against Rukmal Prasanna of Sri Lanka in the quarters, fell to top seed Mirazizbek Mirzahalilov of Uzbekistan.
Nevertheless, Marcial, Durens, Ogayre and Josie Gabuco, who lost to Uzbekistan’s Gulasal Sultonalieva in the 48-kg light flyweight class semis, earned bronze medals in the event.