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Marcial eyes finals, outright berth in Paris Olympics 

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HANGZHOU – Eumir Marcial guns for a seat in the finals and an outright berth in the Olympics when he climbs the ring Wednesday night in the semifinals of men’s boxing in the 19th Asian Games.

Marcial, 27, faces Ahmad Ghousoon of Syria in one of two semifinal bouts at 80kg set at the Hangzhou gymnasium.

A win by the Filipino pro boxer will have him advance to the gold medal round, but more importantly, secure a ticket to the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Boxing is one of six sports that serve as a qualifier for the Olympics.

Marcial won a bronze in the Tokyo Games while fighting as a middleweight.

Yet he appears to be settling in his new weight class at light-heavy given the outcome of his previous fights, including a second-round knockout win over Weerapon JongJoho of Thailand in Sunday’s quarterfinal.

Ghousoon, who comes from a family of boxers and served as flagbearer of Syria during the Asiad opening ceremony, fights with an aggressive stance and doesn’t know how to back down, a style which Philippine head coach Ronald Chavez finds to Marcial’s liking.

“Palusob,” was how Chavez described the 27-year-old Syrian, a 5-0 winner against Tajikistan Shabbos Negmatulloev in the quarterfinals.

By reaching the semis, Marcial is already assured of matching the same finish he had during the 2018 edition of the Asiad in Palembang, Indonesia.

But this time he wanted more, including that coveted automatic spot in the Paris Olympiad.

 

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