Middleweight Eumir Marcial floored Tursynbay Kulakhmet in the opening round before eking out a unanimous victory over the Kazakh in the semifinals of the AIBA World Boxing Championships on Friday in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
Marcial thus set up a final bout against hometown hero Gleb Bakshi. Earlier, Bakshi beat Brazil's Herbert Da Conceicao Sousa via split decision in their penultimate encounter.
The Filipino middleweight wasted no time in flaunting his power, unleashing every punch from his holster.
At the 1:43 mark of the first round, he finally found the perfect chance to strike.
The 2017 SEA Games gold medalist threw a jab then followed it up with a quick straight to the chin that floored his Kazakhstan counterpart.
That appeared to seal the deal for the Zamboanga native, who didn't need to be great in the next two rounds to convince the judges to rule in his favor.
Still, Marcial refused to slow down and fired one smashing punch after another.
Marcial and Bakshi dispute the top prize on Saturday.
Four other Filipino boxers sent by the Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines (ABAP) participated in the event which drew 365 boxers from 78 countries, but only Marcial reached the gold medal round. Light-flyweight Carlo Paalam fell in the quarterfinals, while flyweight Ian Clark Bautista, welterweight James Palicte, and light-heavyweight John Marvin lost in the earlier rounds.