Freeman Cebu Sports

Marcial knocks out Darchinyan in one round, assured of bronze

Emmanuel B. Villaruel - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Filipino boxer Eumir Felix Marcial needed only less than three minutes to terminate Arman Darchinyan of Armenia and brighten up his gold medal hopes.

 The 25-year-old Marcial scored a spectacular knockout of Darchinyan at the 2:11 mark of the very first round to march into the men’s middleweight semifinals in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics boxing competition yesterday at the Kokugikan Arena in Japan.

Marcial thus assured the Philippines of at least bronze a medal, its third after the historic gold of Hidilyn Diaz in weightlifting and the sure silver of boxer Nesthy Petecio in boxing under the women’s featherweight class.

With that, Team Phl tied its 89-year-old record for most medals won in the Olympics when it bagged three bronzes in the 1932 Los Angeles Games courtesy of Simeon Toribio (athletics, men’s high jump), Jose Villanueva (boxing, men’s bantamweight), and Teofilo Ildefonso (swimming, 200m breaststroke).

The aggressor from the get go, Marcial landed a vicious one-two combination that prompted Colombian referee Wulfren Perez to call for a standing count midway in the opening session.

The Armenian pro got up at the count of eight but it was only a matter of time before he will met his end.

Smelling blood, Marcial swiflty went for the kill, connecting on a powerful right hook to the face that sent Darchinyan sprawling onto the mat for good with 59 seconds left in the first round.

 “Hindi ko inexpect pero sobrang powerful talaga ni God. Siya yung nagbibigay ng lakas sa akin,” Marcial told One Sports’ Paolo Del Rosario in a post-match interview as reported by Tiebreaker Times.

“Hindi ko ine-expect na ganun talaga mangyayari — na mana-knockout ko siya. Alam ko malakas na fighter siya. Talagang yun yung laro niya. Never ko nakita sa laban niya, kahit anong lakas na kalaban niya na maka-knockout,” said Zamboanga City-native Marcial added. “The sport is boxing e. May mga suntok talaga na hindi natin inaakala. Yun natapos ko yung laban.”

Marcial though still faces a tall order in his quest for golden glory as he battles next world champion Oleksandr Khyzhniak of Ukraine in the semis on Thursday, August 5.

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