Losing a nail-biting semi-final match at the Tokyo Olympics means that Eumir Marcial will not be able to compete for gold.
E. Marcial Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Eumir Marcial lost a thrilling semi-final match against Ukraine’s top seed Oleksandr Khyzhniak on Thursday at the Kokugikan Arena, settling for a bronze medal in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
In a bout full of massive exchanges, Marcial, at age 25, held the upper hand through the first two rounds. Khyzhniak, however, showed more resolve than the Filipino in the decisive round, and the judges ultimately decided in his favour by a score of 3-2.
Marcial was the Philippines’ best hope for a Medal Heading into Tokyo 2020,
Therefore his dismal performance there was a bitter finish to an otherwise stellar Olympic campaign.
He breezed through the first two rounds of competition before facing Khyzhniak, the defending European Games champion, European Amateur champion, and world amateur champion.
It was a thrilling bout, with nonstop action from the opening bell and the two trading shots that would have been more than enough to knock out anyone competing at this week’s prestigious sumo tournament.
When it came down to it, though, neither fighter was willing to back down and risk losing their chance at a gold medal.
There was a time when Marcial was Clearly Winning.
While one of the more thrilling bouts of the Olympic programme, the barrage of punches thrown made it far from a boxing show for the purists. Three-round contests do not lend itself to a measured approach.
It was clear that the Ukrainian hadn’t gotten the news about Marcial’s concussive knockout power in the first round, as he repeatedly opened the door for the man from Zamboanga City. Both fighters landed powerful blows seemingly at whim, but the judges ultimately gave the fight to the Filipino by a slim 3-2 margin.
In the second round, the action resumed from the first, with both fighters landing flashy combinations and relying on one another for defence. The fight was getting tight, but Marcial was just barely ahead of the Ukrainian.
However, Marcial’s insistence on throwing power shots left him wide open to the Ukrainian’s own substantial power right hand. The judges sided with Marcial once again (3-2), thus the Ukrainian had a huge hill to climb in the deciding round.
Even though both Combatants were Beginning to Show Signs of Fatigue,
The five judges were likely swayed by the fact that Khyzhniak seemed slightly more refreshed in the final stretch. Marcial was still landing powerful punches, but as the fight wore on, the Ukrainian was throwing more of his own.
There was suspense when the announcer made the decision, and it might have gone any way, but Marcial didn’t argue much, and he’ll be proud to take home bronze at the Olympics on Saturday.
With Marcial’s teammate Carlo Paalam competing in the flyweight final on the same day, the Philippines is guaranteed to win their fourth medal of these Games.