As Filipina boxer Nesthy Petecio takes home the Philippines’ second Tokyo 2020 Olympic medal and Carlo Paalam in contention for gold, fellow boxer Eumir Marcial has also secured his ticket to a podium finish—the first for men’s boxing since 1996—and the third medal for the Philippines. The powerhouse boxer settles for a bronze finish after his bout with Oleksandr Khyzhniak of Ukraine, who won via split decision.
The semi-final match was close to call with two of the fighters suffering injuries, Marcial with a cut on the forehead and Khyzhniak on the bridge of his nose. The Ukrainian champion remains undefeated since October 2016 and with his win, extends his streak to 62. Marcial previously lost to Khyzhniak in a 2019 tournament in Bulgaria where he was forced to withdraw due to an injury in the third round.
The Zamboanga City native made rounds when he overpowered his previous opponents and scored first-round stoppages. In the quarterfinal, he exchanged punches with Algeria’s Younes Nemouchi but after an accidental headbutt left open a gash above his foe’s right eye, the referee stopped the bout and Marcial emerged victoriously. The 25-year-old also managed to score a knockdown with a right hook early in the first round.
The hard-punching Filipino showcased the same might and power in his match against Armenia’s Arman Darchinyan. He managed to defeat the Armenian boxer via knockout in the first round, with 49 seconds left by landing a vicious right hook on Darchinyan's chin after a body shot combination.
Marcial native turned professional last year and has been training under Hall of Famer coach Freddie Roach who is also the trainer of famed Filipino boxer and eight-division champion, Manny Pacquiao. Marcial comes from a boxing family, training with his father as early as seven years old.