Filipino boxer Eumir Marcial knocked out his foe in the first round in Tokyo to advance to the men’s middleweight division, also assuring the Philippines of at least a bronze medal.
The hard-hitting boxer from Zamboanga sent his rival Armenia’s Arman Darchinyan to the canvas with less than a minute left in the first round.
“I didn’t expect I would finish the fight in the first round because I know he’s a good boxer, a strong boxer. [But] that’s boxing, you know? You don’t expect the punch,” Marcial said.
Marcial advances to the semifinals where a win could assure him at least a silver medal.
With his win, the Philippines now has three medals from the ongoing Tokyo Olympics with weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz getting a gold, and boxer Nesthy Petecio assured of at least a silver.
Also in the running for medals are boxer Carlo Paalam and and pole vaulter EJ Obiena.
Malacañang on Saturday expressed delight over the performance of Filipino athletes at the Tokyo Olympics.
Before Marcial’s win, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque relayed the Palace’s congratulatory message for boxers Petecio and Paalam and pole vaulter Obiena.
“We congratulate Nesthy Petecio in winning the women’s boxing featherweight semifinals of the Tokyo Olympics and securing a second Olympic medal for the Philippines; EJ Obiena for leaping into the finals of the Men’s Pole Vault; and Carlo Paalam for clinching a quarterfinals ticket in the men’s boxing flyweight class,” Roque said.