Pacquiao tells Eumir: It would have been an easy fight to win | Inquirer Sports
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Pacquiao tells Eumir: It would have been an easy fight to win

/ 05:12 AM August 08, 2021
Ukraine's Oleksandr Khyzhniak (red) and Philippines' Eumir Marcial fight during their men's middle (69-75kg) semi-final boxing match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo on August 5, 2021.

Eumir Marcial (left) and Ukraine’s Oleksandr Khyzhniak slugged it out in a memorable middleweight semifinal match in Tokyo 2020, and the Filipino, according to Manny Pacquiao, lost because he lacked the stamina. —AFP

From somebody who roughed up a barreling hulk like Antonio Margarito, Manny Pacquiao sure knows what advice to give Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist Eumir Felix Marcial.

A day after losing to Oleksandr Khyzhniak of Ukraine in the semifinal, Marcial revealed he got a phone call from the eight-division champion and global superstar.

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In essence, Pacquiao said it should have been an “easy fight.”

“I talked to Sen. Manny, he told me I still lacked stamina and physical fitness,” Marcial told Radyo Pilipinas in Filipino. “He said, ‘[Khyzhniak] is an easy opponent to fight.”’

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The Ukrainian top seed, who prefers big exchanges and makes good use of his tough chin, forced Marcial to play his game and watched as the Filipino ran on fumes in the third round.

Then again, that shock-and-awe method earned Marcial impressive victories in the preliminaries.

Marcial got a dose of his own medicine in the semifinals.

“That’s his game, he’s physical. [Khyzhiniak] will try to wear you down and test your endurance,” added Marcial.

He could have ripped a page from Pacquiao’s playbook and opted to run-and-gun instead of fighting toe-to-toe against Khyzhniak.

In 2010, Pacquiao bounced, floated and stung to reduce Margarito’s face into a bloody mess en route to winning the super welterweight title.

“[Pacquiao] said, `When we meet, I will teach you more,”” said Marcial, who for seven months trained in the United States under Pacquiao’s auspices.For his pro debut late last year, Marcial trained at the famed Wild Card gym under Hall of Famer Freddie Roach. He won over American Andrew Whitfield via unanimous decision.

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“I’m just happy that Sen. Manny talked to me. His advice is a valuable thing for me. He inspired me and cheered me up,” added Marcial.

Now nothing stands between Marcial and a full attention to his pro career as one of the prized finds of Pacquiao’s MP Promotions.

“If given a chance to represent the Philippines, especially in the Olympics, I would grab it,” said Marcial.

But in the meantime, he is shifting focus to the pros, eyeing a fight just before the year ends.

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TAGS: Boxing, Eumir Felix Marcial, Manny Pacquiao, PH Tokyo 2020, Tokyo Olympics
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