British-Filipino boxer John Marvin becomes overnight celebrity after 21-second victory

John Marvin
Boxer John Marvin has become an overnight sensation after his demolition job in the ring

A British-Filipino boxer has become an overnight celebrity — and heart-throb — after winning a gold in the Southeast Asian Games in just 21 seconds. John Marvin, a light heavyweight who is a soldier in the British Army, destroyed Malaysia’s Adli Hafidz Mohd Pauzi in the first round in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, yesterday (Thursday, August 25).

Lance Corporal Marvin, aged 24, now has a clean record of three victories under the Philippine flag.


A post match interview with the fighter has swept the net, with many viewers — particularly ladies — commenting on his charm and accent.

Facebook user Neneth Lopez Deocadez wrote: “Pretty boy. He shoud have to guard that face from a strong blow of his opponent.

“Meanwhile, Ira Giorgetti simply exclaimed: “Oh my God he’s perfect!”


Others swooned over his accent, with María San Miguel saying: “Pinoy with a british accent. I could listen to him all day.”

In the interview, the fighter explained why he had gone in so fiercely. “I didn’t want to be left in a position where it would be left in the hands of the host country to decide my fate.”

He also gave credit to team Philippines for its training regime. “Every session with team Philippines is a chance to meet God,” he said. “The training is nails, and we go in there to destroy people.”

Marvellous John Marvin

In the very first second of the bout, Marvin pounced on his opponent, landing a volley of blows.

The referee gave the visibly-shaken Malaysian a count until the boxer signalled he was ready to continue. John Marvin then came in with another flurry of clean punches that convinced the referee to end the contest.

The win gives the Philippines its first gold medal in the light heavyweight division since Raymundo Suico in 1991. It caps off a day that began with Mario Fernandez losing the bantamweight gold medal match to Thailand’s Chatchai Butdee.

Meanwhile, Middleweight Eumir Marcial made up for this by outfighting Pathomsak Kuttiya of Thailand for the gold medal.

Marvin, who lives on the Isle of Wight in southern England, is a part of the Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment, and a two-time Combined Services Senior Boxing champion.

He began his stint with the Philippine team by beating Cuban-born Cambodian Felix Merlin Martinez. He then outfought the 2013 gold medalist Anavat Thongkrathok in the semifinals on Tuesday.

Marvin, a father of two, has a mother who hails from Pampanga and works as a nurse, and a British father who was a cruise director and professional singer.