Eumir Marcial lost a split decision to Oleksandr Khyzhniak of Ukraine in the semifinals of the middleweight boxing event at the Tokyo Olympic Games on Thursday.
In a three-round battle, the 25-year-old boxer went toe-to-toe with Khyzhniak, but was unable to win the judges’ unanimous vote.
In a slugfest at the Kokugikan Arena, Marcial was defeated by Khyzhniak by a saddening 3-2 split decision.
In the first round, the Ukrainian was aggressive, but Marcial carefully waited for the proper moment to strike in the first minute.
Despite the fact that both sides exchanged punches in the first round and Marcial had a severe cut, the judges awarded the Filipino a 3-2 victory.
In the second round, both boxers continued to throw punches, but Marcial landed more body strikes and cut Khyzhniak’s nose.
Despite the fact that three of the judges again backed the Filipino, the fight turned into a slugfest. Marcial continued to focus on the Ukrainian’s midsection, despite his obvious exhaustion, but Khyzhniak received the judges’ decisive favor this time.
The Filipino boxer was unable to avoid a late collapse, as his Ukrainian opponent rallied late to wrest the victory from Marcial’s grasp.
Khyzhniak won by split decision, 29-28, 30-27, 28-29, 29-28, 28-29, in the men’s middleweight semifinals.
Khyzhniak, who hasn’t lost in more than five years, extended his winning streak to 62 games by defeating Marcial.
Marcial added a bronze to the Philippines’ medal tally, which already included gold for weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz and silver for boxer Nesthy Petecio.
Last Sunday, Marcial assured himself of a boxing medal after a knockout win over Armenian foe Arman Darchinyan.
Marcial knocked out Darchinyan in the quarterfinals of the men’s middleweight division with a well-timed right-handed hammer.
The fight lasted only two minutes and eleven seconds, as the Filipino boxer knocked out his Armenian opponent with 49 ticks remaining in the first round.
Marcial cruised to a certain Olympic medal after both of his bouts were stopped in his favor.
After receiving a bye to the round of 16, Marcial defeated Algeria’s Younes Nemouchi in his first round.
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.