Eumir Marcial admits losing steam vs Ukrainian in semifinal slugfest
MANILA, Philippines — Eumir Marcial found himself in an early crossfire and admitted he lost steam against the unrelenting Oleksandr Khyzhniak of Ukraine in the middleweight semifinal at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday.
Huffing and puffing in the third round, Marcial couldn’t muster enough strength as the slugfest drew to a close with Khyzhniak keeping his foot on the gas pedal.
“I guess I can say that I lacked at something. I didn’t have enough air, and the physical [conditioning],” he said in Filipino. “My plan in the third round is to avoid his punches and then I will give all my strength in the last one minute.”
“But I did not expect to lose steam,” added Marcial, who lost for the second time to Khyzhniak.
The 25-year-old Marcial lost by split decision, 3-2, a result that the Zamboanga native has no qualms about despite seemingly landing the more definitive blows.
“The decision is fair. I just want to say thank you and I want to say thank God for giving me a blessing, this bronze medal,” said Marcial, who was the favorite to win the gold.
“What I can really say is that he is a strong fighter and he deserved to win,” he said. “I can say that his physical [conditioning] is stronger that’s why I didn’t have enough in the end.”