Only two fights separate Filipino prospects Eumir Marcial from Olympic medals.
This developed as Marcial got a bye for an outright slot to the round of 16 of the Tokyo Olympics boxing competitions kicking off July 24.
Marcial, silver medalist in the 2019 World Boxing Championships, need not go through the round of 32 because of his top 4 Olympic ranking from the AIBA (International Boxing Association).
The 26-year-old Marcial, who will be the Philippines' flag bearer with judoka Kiyome Watanabe in the opening ceremony on July 23, is ranked No. 3 among 20 entries in the men's middleweight division.
Marcial, who won his pro debut under the MP (Manny Pacquiao) Promotions banner last December 16, topped the rankings for a while before skidding to third after his semifinal loss in the Asian Elite Boxing Championships in April.
Raring to atone for his disappointing showing, Marcial, who is also being supported by Junnie Navarro and Mike Venezuela of Zamboanga Valientes MLV, underwent rigid training at the United States Olympic Boxing Training Center in Colorado Springs before flying to Tokyo with national coach Ronald Chavez.
According to MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons, Marcial has been tasked by Pacquiao to bring the Olympic gold to his megabuck three-belt bout with Errol Spence on Saturday, August 21 (Sunday, August 22, Philippine time).
Marcial is listed among the favorites in the 75kg division with Ukrainian Oleksandr Khyzhniak and Russian Gleb Bakshi. Both Khyzhniak and Bakshi have beaten Marcial before.
According to the Olympic boxing schedule, Marcial will see action in the middleweight round of 16 on July 28.
Other Filipino boxers competing in the quadrennial games are featherweight Nesthy Petecio and flyweights Carlo Paalam and Irish Magno. – Rappler.com