Filipino boxer Eumir Marcial is heading to the middleweight class' Round-of-16 even before the Tokyo Olympics has officially started.
This after he earned a bye for an automatic slot to the last 16 of the Olympic boxing competitions based on his Olympic ranking in the men's 75kg.
Marcial, who will be with Fil-Japanese judoka Kiyome Watanabe as the Philippines' flag bearers in the opening ceremony on Friday, sits at the top three of the men's middleweight division.
The decorated Filipino boxer is just behind Russian Gleb Bakshi (number 1) and Ukrainian Oleksandr Khyzhniak (number 2).
Being in the Round-of-16 means Marcial only needs to win twice to secure at least a bronze medal.
Marcial is scheduled to fight on July 29.
The three-time Southeast Asian gold medalist and Asian Games bronze medalist recently turned pro to amp up his preparations Tokyo. He is also a silver medalist in the 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships.
He joins Filipino boxers Nesthy Petecio (featherweight) and Carlo Paalam (flyweight) and Irish Magno (flyweight) in their campaign to win boxing gold in the Olympics.
FROM THE ARCHIVES