Follow our live coverage of day six of the Tokyo Olympics here Filipino boxing sensation Eumir Marcial kicked off his quest for Olympic gold in fine fashion by smashing Algeria’s Younes Nemouchi in his first Tokyo 2020 bout. Marcial is looking to follow in the footsteps of weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, who snagged the Philippines’ first ever Olympic gold on Monday, and earned congratulations from legendary boxer Manny Pacquiao on Twitter. The 25-year-old is his country’s hottest boxing prospect since the rise of eight-division world champ Pacquiao, and came out storming in the first round of his middleweight division bout (69-75kgs) at the famed Ryogoku Kokugican Sumo Hall. Nemouchi got knocked down and cut after an accidental clash of heads, prompting an intervention from the referee for his opponent to get checked out. But Marcial continued to dominate, further opening up the cut before the referee stopped things for good at 2:41 of the first round when the doctor called the fight. “It was over very quickly. It was an accident, he got a cut on a clash of heads and the doctor said it was a big cut so he stopped the fight,” Marcial said. “I would have liked more fight time as I knew I could relax in that first round. I know I will have to do better in my next fight and I will prepare for it properly. Marcial feels love from Pacquiao, Diaz in push for boxing gold “I have been training for this since I didn’t make Rio . I’ve worked hard for four years for this moment so I will be ready.” One of the flag bearers for the opening ceremony along with Kiyomi Watanabe, Zamboanga City-native Marcial started boxing aged seven because his father was head coach of the local team. At the age of 16, he won the International Boxing Association Junior World Championships. The middleweight represented the Philippines at the 2015, 2017 and 2019 Southeast Asian Games (he is a three-time gold medallist), and at the 2018 Asian Games, where he won bronze. His most impressive achievement came at the 2019 World Championships where he won a silver medal, however he failed to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics in London. Marcial has previously given some more insight into why he picked boxing, and repeated some sage advice he received from the legend himself, Pacquiao. “Why did I even chose this sport? It’s exhausting and painful,” he said. “I can say that Filipino boxers are good because of the hardships in life.” He said Pacquiao told him that “the higher you get, the more humble you should be” and that he should never rest on his accomplishments if he thinks he can achieve more in the world of boxing. According to BoxRec, Marcial has 86 amateur bouts under his belt, of which he has won 68 (16 of them by knockout) and lost 18, and has never been knocked out. His first fight was in 2008 and his most recent fight was a loss at a Tokyo tune-up event, where he was beaten by Uzbekistan’s Jafarov Saidjamshid in the semi-finals of the AIBA Asian Elite Boxing Championships in Dubai. He conceded after the fight that the loss was a “wake-up call” for him moving forward into the Games.