By Adrian Stewart Co
Filipino boxer Eumir Felix Marcial needed less than a round to secure the country’s third medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics yesterday morning at the Kokukigan Arena in Tokyo, Japan.
Marcial punched his way to the semifinals round and a sure Olympic medal after a first round stoppage win over Armenian Arman Darchinyan in the quarterfinals round of the men’s middleweight division.
Marcial, who was predicted by the Associated Press to clinch a gold medal in the division, started strong with consecutive combinations forcing the referee to count Darchinyan for standing eight.
Marcial then went for the kill with 1-2-3 combinations before unloading a solid right hook to the face that sent Darchinyan to the canvas face first with 51 seconds remaining in the round.
Marcial, who is a professional boxer under the MP Promotions of eight-division world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, will next face Ukrainian Oleksandr Khyzhniak in the semifinals round on August 5.
On Saturday, July 31, Filipina boxer Nesthy Petecio assured herself of at least an Olympic silver medal after scoring a split decision victory over Irma Testa of Italy in a tightly-contested semifinals match.
After a slow opening round that was won by Testa, Petecio bounced back in the second frame as she peppered her much taller Italian foe with straights to the body and head to take a 10-9 score from all the five judges.
Petecio, the first-ever Filipina boxer to reach the Olympics finals, continued her domination on Testa in the third frame to formalize her entry to the gold medal match at noon tomorrow against hometown bet Sena Irie.
Carlo Paalam, meanwhile, reached the quarterfinals of the men’s flyweight division after beating Mohamed Flissi of Algeria in the round-of-16. The Filipino will punch for a sure Olympic medal against Shakhobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan tomorrow morning.
Ernest John Obiena, for his part, will also play in the championship round of men’s pole vault after placing 11th during the qualification round on Saturday with his 5.75 meters leap./ASC, WDJ