MANILA, Philippines, March 7 ------ Eumir Felix Marcial trounced newcomer Kirra Ruston of Australia to book a quarterfinals slot in the 2020 Asia and Oceania Olympic boxing qualifiers on Thursday, March 5 in Amman, Jordan. After nabbing the No. 1 seed in the men's middleweight (75kg) division, Marcial was all the more determined to avoid any upset as he scored a unanimous 5-0 win that put him a win away from a Tokyo 2020 Olympics slot. "When people [were going] into the ring, I felt pressure, but when I went into the ring, that was all in my mind. I wanted to win. I wanted to get that slot for Olympics," said Marcial.
Marcial will face Mongolia's Byamba-Erden Otgonbaatar for a semifinals and Tokyo Olympics slot. A semifinal berth for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist will automatically qualify him to the global showpiece, but a loss will complicate his chances as only the top 5 boxers of the event will go through. The 5th placer will be determined by the loser in the quarterfinal bout of the eventual gold medalist of the event.
Though the world middleweight silver medalist cruised through his opening bout, he was not spared from the Aussie's powerful jabs. Thanks to veteran experience, Marcial countered with body shots and showed no mercy on Ruston. "He’s a new national champion from Australia. I think he’s just 19 years old or 20 years old, but he’s a good boxer. I think that he can qualify for the Olympics [next time]," added Marcial. Filipino women's boxing star Petecio also landed a quarterfinals berth and boosted her chance of booking a ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.