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SPORTS SHORTS 185: EUMIR MARCIAL DESTROYS ARMAN DARCHINYAN IN THE FIRST ROUND, FACES TOP SEED OLEKSANDER KHYZHNIAK OF UKRAINE IN THE SEMIFINALS


PhilBoxing.com





Eumir Marcial once again proved that he is a contender for the Olympic gold medal when he knocked out Armenia’s Arman Darchinyan in the men’s middleweight semifinals, assuring himself of at least a bronze medal Sunday at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo.

* * *

The knockout specialist from Zamboanga City sent Darchinyan to the floor with 2 minutes and 11 seconds of the opening round of the quarterfinal bout, winning his second straight fight via stoppage.

* * *

A savage right hook on the jaw collapsed Darchinyan, who seemed still dizzy after he was assisted in getting up. The abbreviated victory moved Marcial to two wins from an Olympic boxing gold medal.

* * *

Since the onset of the fight, Marcial unleashed a series of powerful combinations and after the first minute, he connected a flurry that forced the referee to do a standing eight count on Darchinyan.

* * *

The 25-year-old Marcial will face top seed Oleksandr Khyzhniak of Ukraine in the semifinal on Thursday, August 5, where his bronze medal could become a silver. Khyzhniak was called the "New Vasyl Lomachenko" of Ukraine for his achievements.

* * *

Oleksandr Khyzhniak is no lesser opponent, as he won gold medals at the 2017 World Championships, 2017 European Championships and the 2019 European Games and the 2012 Youth World Championships

* * *

“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 was quoted by Inquirer Sports referring to Darchinyan, the nephew of former world champion Vic whom Nonito Donaire knocked out twice.

* * *

Marcial raised the Philippines’ medal haul to three after Hidilyn Diaz grabbed the weightlifting gold medal on Monday and Nesthy Petecio entering the women’s featherweight final.

* * *

The 25-year-old Marcial had a very impressive Olympic debut with his power and scored a first-round stoppage over Algeria’s Younes Nemouchi on Thursday.

* * *

Nesthy Petecio of Davao del Sur, will go for the gold on Tuesday after she outpointed European champion Irma Testa of Italy by split decision in their semifinal bout.

* * *

The Philippine boxing team has a chance of winning three gold medals if they do their best with Carlo Paalam still contending for the top award. Paalam was elevated the men’s flyweight quarterfinals after he totally dominated three-time Olympian Mohamed Flissi of Algeria on Saturday.

* * *

While Petecio will face Japanese hometown favorite Sena Irie who entered the Olympic women’s featherweight boxing final after winning a split decision against Great Britain’s Karriss Artingstall.

* * *

The two protagonists are very familiar with each other. The coming Olympic final bout on August 3 will be their fourth meeting in two years.

* * *

On April 19, 2019, Irie made her amateur boxing debut at the age of 18 in the ASBC Asian Confederation Boxing Championships and battled Petecio in the first round. Irie scored an upset against Petecio, winning a close split decision to eliminate the Filipina.

* * *

They rematched six months later in Ulan Ude, Russia during the World Women’s Boxing Championships. This time, Petecio got even with the Japanese with a majority decision win and subsequently getting the world title.

* * *

Then at the Olympic Qualifiers in Amman, Jordan on March 9, 2020, Petecio who was the top seed in the featherweight division, suffered a tough unanimous decision loss to Irie.

* * *

The 29-year-old Petecio and Irie, aged 20 years, will face each other again and this time the most prestigious prize is at stake.

* * *

When Hidilyn Diaz lifted 127 kg in the clean and jerk of the women’s 55kg category in the weightlifting event at the 2020 Tokyo 2020 Games, she shocked her main competitors, China’s Liao Qiuyun, and her coach, Zhang Guozheng.

* * *

Liao was the world record holder in the both the clean and jerk and the total in the 55kg category, but disclosed that she underestimated the strength of Diaz.

* * *

Liao had lifted a heavier weight, a world record of 129 kg at the 2019 World Weightlifting Championships in Pattaya, Thailand. But in her preparations for the Olympics, she suffered injuries and could only lift 123 kg at the maximum.

* * *

So when they had a toe-to-toe with Diaz in the Olympic final round, she was already contented when she was able to lift 126 kg before Diaz went up the stage for her final lift.

* * *

The rest was history, as Diaz strongly lifted 127 kg for the first time in her career to win the Philippines’ first-ever gold medal in 97 years since the country’s Olympic debut in the 1924 Paris Games.

* * *

“I didn’t expect her strength like this,” Liao revealed. Zhang, the Chinese coach who was also a gold medalist in the 2004 Athens Games, said the 126 kg was a good lift for Liao, but they simply did not expect Diaz to get the heavier lift.

* * *

Top ten Olympic medal standings:
1. China 23 golds 14 silvers 12 bronzes
2. United States 20golds 20 silvers14 bronzes
3.Japan 17golds 5 silvers 8 bronzes
4. Australia 14golds 3 silvers 14 bronzes
5. ROC 11 golds 15 silvers 12 bronzes
6. Great Britain 9 golds 10 silvers 12 bronzes
7. South Korea 5 golds4 silvers 7 bronzes
8. France 4 golds 10 silvers 6bronzes
9. Netherlands 4 golds 7 silvers 6 bronzes
10. New Zealand 4 golds 3 silvers 4 bronzes
41. Philippines 1 gold


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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