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Fil-Brit lucky charm for Philippine boxing squad

Gerry Carpio (The Philippine Star) - August 23, 2017 - 4:00pm

Final Round

Chatchai Butdee (Tha) vs  Mario Fernandez (Phl)

Pathomsak Kuttiya (Tha) vs Eumir Felx Marcial (Phl)

Adli Hafidz Moh Pauzi (Mas) vs Marvin John Nobel Tupas (Phl)

KUALA LUMPUR – Fil-British John Tupas Marvin, who has some experience fighting in competitions in the British Army, will be the lucky charm of the Philippine team, which is now down from the original six to three bets for the SEA Games boxing finals today at the Malaysian International Trade and Exhibition Center here.

With the first two matches pitting two Filipinos against two Thais, the third match could spell the difference in the Philippines drive for the gold.

Mario Fernandez, the first to climb the ring, fights opposite Thailand’s Chuchai Butdee in the bantamweight class, while Eumir Felix Marcial will next slug it out with Thai Pathomsak Kuttiya in the light welterweight category.

Marvin will be fighting in the light heavyweight class against Malaysian Adli Hafidz Mohd Pauzi and won’t have to worry about fighting a Thai because he already disposed of Thai Anavat Thongkrathok in the semifinals, 5-0.

Marvin, a Londoner born to a British father and a mother from Pampanga, learned about a decision of the Malaysian organizers to bring the light heavyweight back to the SEA Games calendar since they see a gold medal potential in this weight category.

Their hunch came true because their bet advanced to the finals where he will now fight Marvin.

When only six slots were announced by the organizers for this year’s SEA Games, Ed Picson, who oversees the boxing program, assembled his pool of boxers to choose who among them would compete for SEAG and the World Cup eliminations which were scheduled almost simultaneously.

With only six slots available, Picson had no intentions of getting the light heavyweight as the sixth and last slot for the Philippines until Marvin sent feelers last March of his interest in joining the national team.

While the Philippines had had no success in this category in the past – the last being a bronze by Pat Gaspi and Ernesto Coronel way back in the late 80s – Picson reconsidered.

“We have a hard time recruiting welterweights, let alone light heavyweights,” said Picson.

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