Must-win for Marcial

Eumir Marcial badly needs to erase the stigma of his last professional fight.

This Sunday, Marcial gets the chance to do just that when he locks horns with Steven Pichardo in a six-round middleweight clash underneath a huge card at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

You see, the last time he fought professionally, Marcial had to pick himself up from the floor thrice to stop Isiah Hart in April in Las Vegas.

Though Marcial managed to go 2-0 in his pro career, his ability to take a shot in the powerhouse 160-lb division was put undertake microscope.

Hart, who was handpicked to fatten Marcial’s record, almost scored an upset stoppage win.

But since Marcial packed dynamite on both fists and embarrassed by his shocking trips to the deck, the Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist found a way to escape being guillotined.

When he returns to the ring again this weekend, Marcial can’t afford to reenact that same thing with Hart.

Pichardo isn’t exactly a title contender but Marcial can’t afford to take him lightly.

Who would have thought that Hart, who looked like a homeless man wandering the streets of vice-plagued Hollywood Boulevard, could send somebody like Marcial down not once but three times?

I was watching a live feed of that fight and nearly choked on my food when Hart sent Marcial crashing to the floor.

It was very uncharacteristic for a fighter of his caliber to be shamed by a nondescript boxer like the lanky and rangy but journeyman-type of opponent like Hart.

So, if Marcial doesn’t look sensational against Pichardo, it could mean bye-bye to his dreams of becoming a world champion.

But knowing his think-tank and Marcial himself, it doesn’t look like lightning is going to strike twice.

Marcial knows all too well that there is no other option out there for him if lightning strikes again.

Besides, the plan is for him to join his national team pals in Amman for training camp and eventually a stint in the Asian championships the Jordanian capital is holding late this month until the second week of November.

If the script favors Marcial this Sunday, he will be arriving in Jordan fully boosted and the man to beat at middleweight.

Still, looking too far ahead can be very dangerous.

Pichardo has genuine plans of raining on Marcial’s parade.

But Marcial’s going to be bringing an umbrella with him so as not to ruin the party.

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