Airman First Class Eumir Marcial loses against Ukrainian opponent Oleksandr Khyzhniak in the semifinals of the Men’s Middleweight Boxing event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, but still manages to win the bronze medal for the Philippines, the country’s first men’s boxing medal since 1996.
The 25-year-old boxer fought toe-to-toe with Khyzhniak in a three-round fight, but was unable to win the judges’ unanimous decision.
Marcial was defeated by Khyzhniak in a nailbiter in the Kokugikan Arena, losing a heartbreaking 3-2 split decision.
The Ukrainian was aggressive in the first round, but Marcial patiently waited for the right moment to strike in the first minute.
Despite the fact that both sides traded punches in the first round and Marcial suffered a nasty cut, the judges gave the Filipino a 3-2 victory.
Both boxers continued to throw blows in the second round, but Marcial landed more body strikes and cut Khyzhniak’s nose.
Although three judges again siding with the Filipino, the fight devolved into a slugfest. Despite his obvious tiredness, Marcial remained focused on the Ukrainian’s midriff, but Khyzhniak won the judges’ decision this time.
Marcial was unable to escape a late collapse as his Ukrainian opponent fought late to grab the victory away from him.
Khyzhniak won by split decision, 29-28, 30-27, 28-29, 29-28, 28-29, in the men’s middleweight semifinals.
Marcial added a bronze medal to the Philippines’ tally, which includes gold for weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz and silver for boxer Nesthy Petecio.
Marcial clinched a boxing medal last Sunday with a knockout victory over Armenian opponent Arman Darchinyan.
Marcial used a well-timed right-handed hammer to knock out Armenian Arman Darchinyan in the quarterfinals of the men’s middleweight division.
The Filipino boxer knocked out his Armenian opponent with 49 ticks remaining in the first round, ending the battle in under two minutes and eleven seconds.
After both of his bouts were stopped in his favor, Marcial was assured of an Olympic medal.
Marcial defeated Algerian Younes Nemouchi in his first round after having a bye to the round of 16.
Despite the defeat, Marcial earned the Philippines a bronze medal. After Jose Villanueva (1932), Leopoldo Serantes (1988), and Roel Velasco (1992), this will be the Philippines’ fourth bronze medal in boxing.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine Air Force (PAF) commended the Filipino athlete for bringing pride to the country in a Facebook post.
“Thank you for your commitment to the country and your efforts to represent us have been greatly acknowledged. Congratulations and Mabuhay Eumir,” the PAF wrote.