By TITO S. TALAO
TOKYO — Eumir Felix Marcial, the top seed in the middleweight division in the XXXII Olympiad, goes for a seat in the boxing semis against Arman Darchinyan of Armenia Sunday at the Kokugikan Arena.
The fight is set at 11:36 a.m. (Manila time), with the winner between two boxers who had trained briefly with Freddie Roach at his Wild Card gym in Los Angeles, assured of the bronze with a shot at the gold medal in the 69-75kg class.
After drawing a bye in the Round of 16, Marcial, who booked a ticket to the Olympics on the strength of his quarterfinals victory in the 2020 Asia Oceania Olympic Boxing Qualifiers in Amman, Jordan, eventually winning the gold in the tournament, floored Younes Nemouchi of Algeria early in the first round last July 29 before the referee halted the fight with blood streaming down Nemouchi’s face from an accidental headbutt.
The bout was declared a Referee-Stopped-Contest I decision in favor of Marcial.
Darchinyan will be a tougher opponent to bring down even with Marcial’s vaunted right hook which he looped right into Nemouchi’s head a minute into the fight.
“Yeah, it’s going to be a difficult fight for Eumir,” admitted Don Abnett, the national team’s Australian training director.
“Dachinyan already boxed before, but I guess a few counterpunches, and shorter attacks, although he’ll be a little too sharp for it.”
The 27-year-old Darchinyan, from Vanadzor, Armenia, defeated Slovakia’s Andrej Czemez via 5-0 unanimous decision in his previous fight.
He is a nephew of former Sydney Olympics campaigner and IBF flyweight champion Vic Darchinyan.