Header Ads Widget

Pinoy boxers advance in SEA Games

2017 Southeast Asian Games logo.svg
By Ariel Ian Clarito

MANILA--Three for three on opening day. 

The Philippines got off to an auspicious start in the boxing competition of the SEA Games when three veterans won their opening bouts.

Defending flyweight champion Ian Clark Bautista kicked things off for the Philippine campaign by beating Abdul Salam Kasim of Malaysia.

Bautista, only 22 years of age but already a veteran of the Asian Games and the London Olympics, had to overcome a boisterous crowd and a rugged Kasim who showed grit in engaging Bautista in a toe-to-toe battle from the opening bell.

But the experience of Bautista carried him through as he came away with a unanimous decision to earn for himself a sure bronze. 

Defending two-time SEAG champ Mario Fernandez won by first round technical knockout in the first round over an outclassed Maung Nge of Myanmar.

Fernandez’s impressive victory propelled him to the quarterfinals of the bantamweight division where another win will guarantee him a bronze and move him two bouts away from retaining his SEA Games gold.

Zamboanga native Eumir Marcial also earned for himself a slot in the medal round with a victory over Nguyen Mahn Cuong of Vietnam.

Marcial scored a standing eight-count in the first round and dominated the rest of the fight to win via unanimous decision.

Marcial, who won gold in Singapore two years ago, is now campaigning as a middleweight after his previous division, welterweight, was scrapped from this year’s edition.

The three other members of the boxing team will be seeing action on Monday.

Nineteen-year-old light flyweight Carlo Paalam will face Muhamad Fuad B.M. Redzuan of host Malaysia, Filipino-British lightheavyweight Marvin John Tupas will be in a dogfight against Cuban born Cambodian Felix Merlin Martinez, and veteran Charly Suarez will begin his quest in the light welterweight division when he takes on Malaysian Khir Akyazlan Azmi.

Victories by Paalam, Tupas, and Suarez will qualify them for the semifinals and assure them of a medal.

Follow the site on Twitter: @DugoutPH