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Marcial on Team PHL to 31st SEAG, but undecided on defending gold

Marcial

EUMIR FELIX MARCIAL is on the national boxing team to the 31st Southeast Asian Games but the Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist is undecided on defending his middleweight gold medal in Hanoi.

“I haven’t decided yet if I will fight in the SEA Games or not,” Marcial told BusinessMirror on Tuesday, two days after winning his second professional fight in Las Vegas. “I really need to think more about it.

“Every fighter wants to represent his country abroad and win gold, who’s not?” added the 26-year-old Marcial who’s expected back on Manila on Thursday or Friday.

Marcial beat American Isiah Hart via technical knockout in the fourth round of their non-title six-rounder for his second win as a pro after the unanimous decision victory he booked against another American, Andrew Whitfield, in December 2020 in Los Angeles.

Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines training director Don Abnett confirmed Marcial is on the roster for the SEA Games, adding that they expect the Zamboangueño to join the training camp in Muak Lek, Thailand.

MP Promotions President Sean Gibbons said it would be up to Marcial if he’ll be fighting in the SEA Games, stressing that the reigning middleweight champion is a guaranteed winner in Vietnam.

“He can train sitting on a couch for the SEA Games,” Gibbons said. “He will surely dominate for the fourth time if he decides to fight there.”

Marcial dominated the SEA Games middleweight division since the 2015 Singapore edition. He clinched a bronze medal in the Jakarta 2018 Asian Games and bagged a gold medal in the Asia-Oceania Boxing Olympic Qualification in Amman, Jordan, in 2020.

The Vietnam SEA Games are set from May 12 to 23.

Marcial admitted he has a lot to learn as a professional boxer.

“I still need to learn a lot of things as a professional,” he said. “I really need to train harder and be wiser. A world title is far from my mind just yet.”

Hart, four inches taller at 6-foot-2, floored Marcial thrice—in the first round and twice in the second round—before allowing the Filipino to summon his skill set in the fourth round to yield by technical knockout.

The referee stopped the fight with 47 seconds left in the fourth round after Hart wobbled from countless punches that Marcial unleashed.

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