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Fil-Brit boxer isn’t only witty, he packs a wallop

KUALA LUMPUR – Fil-Briton boxer John Marvin has endeared himself to teammates with his wit and charm, never mind the accent and the speed with which he delivers his spiels.

Cheered on by teammates at the stands, Marvin, a soldier of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, won his first bout in the 29thSoutheast Asian Games Monday night, by hammering out a decisive 5-0 decision over Cuban-born Felix Martinez of Cambodia.

It was an impressive debut for the 24-year-old boxer whose experience is limited to fighting rivals in the British military.

The six-foot-one rookie used speed and combinations to deck his experienced opponent five times en route to a decisive win.

Prior to his stint here, the 24-year-old son of a nurse from Lubao, Pampanga spent two months training with the national boxers in Baguio City.

It was the kind of training which Marvin admitted he’s not used to.

“Another chance to die,” Marvin would love to say his teammates every time they start training.

To his credit, Marvin did not back down from the punishment he received from middleweight Eumir Felix Marcial – bloodied nose and all.

“Man, he’s good,” Marvin told his coaches.

Standing six-foot-one with looks that could sell anything from cars to supplements, Marvin said he doesn’t mind the beatings.

“Used to get my face beaten when I was a kid,” he narrated.

Marvin said he used to fight without gloves when he was growing up.

“There was an abandoned water reservoir near our school. We meet there about 15 of us and start fighting, one bout at a time,” said Marvin.

“There were no rules and we would only stop if one gets knocked out or gives up,” he added.

It went on for some time until the police came and suggested a nearby boxing gym.

“I was the only one who went,” he said.

Boxing has taught him to channel his emotions positively. His goal now is to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

But first he has to get the permission of his superiors.

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