KUALA LUMPUR -- Two-time champion Mario Fernandez inched closer to an unprecedented three-peat as he outclassed Nat Siek Nin of Cambodia to reach the bantamweight finals in men’s boxing competition of the 29th Southeast Asian Games Tuesday at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibit Center here.
Eumir Felix Marcial also made it to the finals of the middleweight division with a one-punch technical knockout of Indran AVL Rama Khrisnan of Malaysia as well as Filipino-British Marvin John Nobel Tupas, who had to survive a hard-fighting Anavat Thongkrathok of Thailand for a unanimous decision.
Only flyweight Ian Clark Bautista and light welterweight Charly Suarez lost their respective semifinal matches and settled for bronze.
Bautista lost to Tanes Ongjunta of Thailand in a questionable decision while Suarez was outclassed by Wuttichai Masuk of Thailand.
“It’s a close call and it can go either way for Ian (Bautista). But for Charly (Suarez), I am really disappointed with the decision because you can see that hindi tumatama at sumusuntok ang kalaban pero nanalo,” said Alliance of Boxing Association of the Philippines (ABAP) secretary general Ed Picson.
Fernandez, the 2013 and 2015 gold medalist, eased the pain of Bautista and Suarez’s defeat with a convincing victory as he gave the Cambodian a crisp right straight hit to the jaw for a mandatory eight count.
Then, he held his ground in the next two rounds to grab the first seat in the championship round.
He will face either Chatchai Butdee of Thailand or Vilaysack Chansamone of Laos.
“Pwersado po ako na pabagsakin talaga ang kalaban para maiwasan ang nangyari kay Ian (Clark Bautista) at Carlo (Paalam),” Fernandez said.