Filipino pugilists eye SEA Games gold repeat

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Filipino light heavyweight gold medallist John Marvin in action at the 2017 SEA Games in Malaysia. -- PSC-POC MEDIA GROUP

GOLD MEDAL winners in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games, Filipino boxers John Marvin and Eumir Felix Marcial are eyeing a repeat of the feat in this year’s edition of the biennial regional games which the Philippines is hosting later this year.

Gracing the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at the Amelie Hotel-Manila, Marvin and Mr. Marcial, joined by men’s boxing team coach Roel Velasco and SEA Games bronze medallist Ian Clark Bautista, said they are once again going for gold more so since the Games will be held in the country just as they highlighted that they are expecting the competition to be tough.

“I’m after that gold and nothing less than that,” said Filipino-British Marvin at the forum, presented by San Miguel Corp., Braska Restaurant, Amelie Hotel, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.

Marvin won gold in the light heavyweight division of the 29th SEA Games in Malaysia two years ago.

He defeated Adli Hafidz Bin Mohd Pauzi of Malaysia in the finals.

Mr. Marcial seconded Marvin, saying he, too, is aiming for the gold and nothing less, and vowed to do his best in his pursuit of it.

“The field will be competitive because everybody is aiming for the gold. But I won’t be deterred by it,” he said in the vernacular.

Mr. Marcial ruled the middleweight division two years ago by beating Thai Pathomsak Kuttiya in the finals.

The gold medals of Marvin and Mr. Marcial were part of the two gold, one silver and two bronze haul of boxing in 2017 and the 24-34-63 medal total of the Philippines, good for sixth place.

Apart from the SEA Games, the Philippine boxing team is also gearing up for the World Championships in Russia in September. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo