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Kazakh threatens Marcial’s Olympic gold quest

The bid of Eumir Marcial at Olympic glory becomes even more competitive with the entry of a Kazakh world champion. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF Eumir Marcial/FB

Eumir Marcial’s path towards the 2024 Paris Olympics light-heavyweight (80 kilogram) gold medal became a lot more competitive with the entry of world champion Nurbek Oralbay of Kazakhstan.

Oralbay’s qualification was formalized during the recent World Olympic Qualification Tournament held in Italy.

Oralbay joins a star-studded cast that includes two-time Olympic champion Arlen Lopez of Cuba, Ukrainian Oleksandr Khyzhniak and Chinese Toqtarbek Tanatqan, who defeated Marcial for the Hangzhou Asian Games gold last year.

So far, 14 have qualified for the 26 July to 11 August Olympics and the remaining four spots will be determined in the coming months.

Three will be up for grabs for the second and last World Olympic Qualification Tournament taking place from late-May to early-June in Bangkok. The lone universality place will be known shortly after the Bangkok slugfest.

Meanwhile, the Filipino southpaw who took bronze in the middleweight class in Tokyo, is in the final stages of his preparation for his fifth professional bout happening this Saturday at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

After almost eight weeks in Las Vegas, Marcial returned to the country a week ago for an eight-round bout against Thailand Thoedsak Sinam.

This fight will serve as a part of Marcial’s buildup for Paris.

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