Marcial battles top seed who hasn’t lost in 61 fights in five years

After two first-round wins, Eumir Marcial will be in for the fight of his life when he takes on 26-year-old Oleksandr Khyzhniak in the Tokyo Olympics men’s semifinal round on Aug. 5, 2021 at 2:03 p.m.

Marcial, 70-18 with 17 KOs, two in his last two fights, will be facing the top seed in their division who has won 61 straight fights dating back to June 23, 2016 and owns an impressive 109-13 record with 16 KOS. Included in the 61-fight win streak is a win against Marcial on Feb. 18, 2019 in the semifinal round of the Strandja International Boxing Tournament. Listed as a DQ win for the Ukrainian in www.boxrec.com, coach Roel Velasco said he stopped the fight because Marcial got injured.

FAMILIAR FOE. Eumir Marcial will face one of the last two guys who have defeated him in the semifinal round of the Tokyo Olympics.

Khyzhniak was ahead 20-17 on three cards and 20-18 on two cards in that fight.

However, Don Abnett, the Australian coach of the team, says that loss is a non-factor as Marcial is no longer the same fighter.

Now a pro who won his debut in December, 2020, Marcial had an auspicious start to 2021, splitting his two amateur fights prior to the Olympics. His last loss, to Saidjamshid Jafarov in Dubai in the semifinal of the ASBC Asian Boxing Championships on May 28, 2021 was particularly telling at it came months after he decried the lack of support for his Olympic bid.

However, his confidence is at an all-time high after two quick wins in the Olympics.

On the other hand, Khyzhniak, who is three inches taller than Marcial, has had a busy 2021, racking up eight wins, including four to win the European Olympic qualifiers. He also beat Darchinyan, Marcial’s quarterfinal victime, twice in his career.

Check Eumir Marcial’s first encounter with Oleksandr Khyzhniak in 2019, when he got counted for a standing eight-count.

Meanwhile, after beating the world champion and the reigning Olympic titlist in the flyweight division, Carlo Paalam will have a relatively light assignment as he faces on Ryomie Tanaka, who has a 20-17 record and lost two straight fights prior to the Olympics.

Paalam is 37-11 with a KO win and is two and a half inches shorter than the hometown bet. Their fight is at 1:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, golfers Bianca Pagdanganan and Yuka Saso play their second round today. Pagadanganan is at joint seventh at 2-under, three shots from the leader, while Saso, the Asian Games and US Women’s Open champion, is further back at No. 47 at 3 over. However, a good showing by the Filipino-Japanese in Round 2 can put her back in contention.

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