Eumir Felix Marcial takes on dangerous Arman Darchinyan of Armenia at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo for a medal finish in the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday.
Marcial will battle Darchinyan at 11:36 a.m. (Manila time) in the men’s middleweight quarterfinals following his stoppage victory over Algeria’s Younes Nemouchi.
The 25-year-old booted Nemouchi out via Referee Stopped Contest-Injury (RSC-I) with 19 seconds remaining in the first round to advance to the quarterfinals of the category where he’s the No. 1 seed.
He is now facing Darchinyan, an opponent he defeated three years ago in Russia.
“I beat him (Darchinyan) in 2018 in Russia [world championships], but the Olympics are another story,” Marcial said. “Everyone here prepared hard for their matches.”
Darchinyan mauled Slovak Andrej Csemez for a 5-0 win to set a face-off with Marcial.
Marcial turned pro in September last year and trained at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles for four months.
A win by Marcial would assure the Philippines its second boxing medal after women’s featherweight Nesthy Petecio advanced to the gold medal round via a split-decision win over Italy’s Irma Testa on Saturday.
If Marcial wins, it will equal the most medals won by the Philippines in a single Olympiad.
In the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, the Philippines won 3 bronze medals courtesy of Simeon Toribio (high jump), bantamweight boxer José Luis Villanueva, and swimmer Teófilo Yldefonso (200m breaststroke).
Boxing analyst Nissi Icasiano said Marcial enjoys the edge in terms in terms of experience.
"Marcial has the mental edge. Out of the four [Filipino] boxers, Marcial initially is the one favored to land a podium finish in Tokyo," he said. "His credentials speak for himself. A runner-up in the world championships, topped the qualifiers and won his professional debut."
"It's not going to be an easy fight, but the edge is with Eumir Marcial. 'Yung galaw niya mas pulido."
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