Filipino boxer Carlo Paalam has secured a spot in the finals of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after defeating Japanese foe Ryomei Tanaka in the men’s flyweight Thursday (August 5) at the Kokugikan Arena. 

Paalam is now on the cusp of Olympic gold glory after defeating hometown bet Tanaka unanimously. 

With this win, the 23-year-old Cagayan de Oro native is now guaranteed an Olympic silver medal. 

His next fight is scheduled on Saturday (August 7) against Great Britain’s Galal Yafai.

Meanwhile, Eumir Marcial’s Olympic gold journey ended after falling to Ukrainian foe Oleksandr Khyzhniak in the men’s middleweight the same day and in the same venue. 

Marcial, who made it to the semi-final with two strong first-round stoppages including a KO win from Arman Darchinyan in the quarterfinal, found a match in Khyzhniak, however, he lost by split-decision when the three-round bout concluded. 

Although Marcial’s fight towards the gold medal has come to an end, the 25-year-old has secured himself a podium finish in the Olympics and is assured a bronze medal. 

The Zamboanga native also lost to the Ukrainian in 2019 at a competition in Strandja, Bulgaria where he was forced to pull out due to an injury. 

The last medal the Philippines received from men’s boxing in the Olympics was in the 1996 Atlanta Games, specifically the silver medal Manuel ‘Onyok’ Velasco brought home.

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