Eumir Marcial scored a first-round knockout victory against Armenian Arman Darchinyan to clinch a Tokyo 2020 Olympics men's middleweight semifinal berth on Sunday, August 1, at the Kokugikan Arena.
The quick triumph assured Marcial of an Olympic bronze as he moved within two wins from a boxing gold medal.
The Filipino pug knocked out Darchinyan within 2 minutes and 11 seconds of the opening round of the quarterfinal bout.
Marcial unloaded a number of combinations from the get-go. After the first minute, he managed to stun Darchinyan and forced the referee to a standing count.
But the 25-year-old did not hesitate to finish off the Armenian with a body shot combination and a right hook to the head that sealed his ticket to the Olympic medal round.
Marcial, a native of Zamboanga City, will face reigning European champion Oleksandr Khyzhniak of Ukraine in the semifinal on Thursday, August 5, 2:03 pm, Philippine time.
With Filipina boxer Nesthy Petecio in the women's featherweight final, this will be the first time Philippine boxing will be bringing home multiple Olympic medals.
Marcial will join Petecio and Philippines' first Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz, who is also from Zamboanga, in bringing home the elusive mints from sports' biggest stage.
The top Filipino boxer earned a bye to start his Olympic campaign in the round of 16, after he also made an appearance in the opening ceremony as the male flag bearer of the Philippines.
Last Thursday, Marcial won by referee stoppage right in the opening round against Younes Nemouchi of Algeria in their round of 16 match.
More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.