Gone in 21 seconds

Gerry Carpio - The Philippine Star
Gone in 21 seconds

Eumir Felix Marcial Jun Mendoza


Fil-Brit scores fastest stoppage as pugs nail 2 golds

KUALA LUMPUR – Fil-British light heavyweight John Tupas Marvin loaded and fired, loaded and fired, deadly combinations in 21 seconds of the first round.

As it turned out, that was all he needed to secure the gold as the referee stepped in to stop the contest with his opponent, Malaysian Adli Hafidz Mohd Pauzi, trying to keep his balance on wobbly legs, battered and beaten at the ropes.

In effect, that’s how best described the Filipino boxers’ campaign in the Games and past SEAGs for they remain the steady producers of gold in the biennial meet.

Marvin, the surname of his father who lives with his Filipino mother Teresita in Lubao, Pampanga, unleashed the punishing 1-2 combination to shatter his Malaysian rival at the Malaysian International Trade and Exhibition Center here.

The game Malaysian, who took in all the blows from the much bigger and taller Marvin, was waived off by the referee to spare him from further punishment.

“If given the chance, I’ll come back again, to win in the SEA Games, then in the Asian Games and then in the Olympics,” said Marvin.

The gallery of Filipino supporters stood in wild celebration for the newly minted Filipino sporting hero while Malaysian fans watched in awe and silence as the referee motioned the Fil-British to a neutral corner.

Marvin waited unperturbed as the referee announced his victory by RSC-O (referee-stopped contest – Outclassed). He didn’t go through the usual routine of  jumping, running and raising of the fists.

The win overshadowed the lopsided triumph of Eumir Felix Marcial, who left nothing to chance as he dominated all of three rounds to score a 5-0 conquest of a worthy opponent, Pathomsak Kuttiya, one of the finest boxers from a stable of boxers trained to Olympic caliber by Cuban coaches.

It also atoned for the loss of Mario Fernandez at the hands of Thai Chucahi Butdee in the bantamweight division.

Filipino supporters, led by chef de mission Cynthia Carrion, joined in an explosion of joy and Marvin’s parents and girlfriend seized the moment from the stands as the Philippines ended its boxing campaign with two gold medals, one silver and two bronzes.

It matched Thailand in the number of gold medals but lost in the number of silvers (3) and bronze (1).

The Thais sent five of six candidates to the finals, the last dropping out in the semifinals at the hands of Marvin.

Indonesia’s Aldoms Sugoro captured the gold over Tanes Ongjunta of Thailand in the flyweight division, while Malaysia’s Muhamad Fuad Redzuan outpointed Thai Thani Rarinram for the gold in the light flyweight division.

Indonesia and Malaysia shared third place in the medal table with 1-1-1 gold-silver-bronze medals, with Singapore fourth with three bronzes, Laos fifth with two and Cambodia and Vietnam joint seventh with one bronze each.

The SEAG Games competitions all boiled down to a battle among the elite from the Philippines and Thailand as the Malaysian hosts excluded the women’s events and reduced the men’s events to six.

Still, Ricky Vargas, president of the Alliance of Boxing Associations in the Philippines expressed his elation over the two-gold medal effort of his wards whom he sent to many battlefields in Southeast Asia and Asia to prepare them for the bigger goals ahead – the Asian Games in 2018, the Southeast Asian Games in 2019 and the Olympic Games in 2020 when he hopes the boxing program will eventually produce the country’s first Olympic gold.

“Everything will start here,” said Vargas in an interview at the VIP stands.

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