SINGAPORE // Teenager Eumir Marcial scored a devastating knockout as Filipino fighters ruled the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games ring with five gold medals on Wednesday.
Marcial, 19, modestly credited a “lucky punch” after he floored Singapore’s Tay Jia Wei in the second round to win the men’s welterweight.
Former women’s world champion Josie Gabuco won her fourth straight SEA Games gold in the light flyweight, and Mario Fernandez took the men’s bantamweight with a technical knockout.
Ian Bautista and Junel Cantancio were victorious in flyweight and lightweight respectively as the Philippines claimed a total of 10 boxing medals: five golds, three silvers and two bronzes.
Gabuco, a world champion in 2012, maintained her winning run in the regional competition when she was awarded a unanimous decision against Thailand’s Chuthamat Raksat.
“I’m very happy and I’m very grateful for this. Thanks to God for giving me another opportunity to get another gold medal at the SEA Games,” said the 28-year-old.
Marcial was fighting at his first SEA Games, but the 2011 world junior champion showed his class with a dazzling display rounded off by a vicious left hook with 48 seconds left in the second round.
“I think it was my lucky punch. I am so happy because this is my first SEA Games and I have a gold medal,” said Marcial, who is now setting his sights on next year’s Olympics.
“Hopefully if I maintain my discipline and work hard, I can qualify. But it will be difficult because I need to go through many steps to qualify for the Olympics.”
Bantamweight defending champion Fernandez, 21, dominated Tanes Ongjunta with the referee stopping it 45 seconds into the third round after the Thai went down for the second time.
Vietnam had the second-best haul of gold medals, winning three through Nguyen Thi Yen in the women’s flyweight, Le Thi Bang in the women’s bantamweight and Truong Dinh Hoang in the men’s middleweight.
Thailand, who had seven golds at the 2013 SEA Games, won only two this time through Tassamalee Thongjan in the women’s featherweight and Wuttichai Masuk in the men’s light welterweight.
Kornelis Langu gave Indonesia their lone boxing gold with victory in the men’s light flyweight.
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