Marcial survives bloody battle

Filipino southpaw Eumir Marcial upped his professional record to 3-0 after carving out a lopsided six-round decision over Steven Pichardo Saturday (Sunday in Manila) at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

Cut over his right eye owing to an accidental clash of heads in the second round, the bloodied Marcial was allowed by referee Gerard White to continue the match en route to posting the convincing win by scores of 60-54 (thrice) from judges James Green, Ivan Guillermo, and Ellis Johnson.

The 6-foot-1 Pichardo, fighting for the 12th time as a pro, did try to turn the tables when he landed his best shots but the three judges thought it wasn’t enough.

The victory, his third in his professional career, meant a lot for the Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist as he was desperate to make up for the lackluster showing he had during his second pro bout in April.
Against Isiah Hart, Marcial had to get up from three knockdowns to stop the tall and rangy fighter in the fourth round.

It could not be determined what will be next for the 26-year-old Zamboanga City native because of the cut that had to be treated by doctors in his dressing room afterwards.

Jorge Capetillo, who trains Marcial, believed the Pichardo fight was a valuable experience for the Filipino puncher.

“All these tests definitely will make him a better fighter. A fighter who already got dropped, already got cut, already got experience to go the rounds makes them a better fighter,” Capetillo said, adding that he likes what he saw from Marcial, especially his body punching and use of uppercuts.

“I think it was a great performance, I think he improved a lot. I think he was calmer, using the distance.”

Marcial expressed gratitude to those who rallied behind him, including Capetillo, MP Promotions chief Sean Gibbons, father-in-law Rey Galarpe, strength and conditioning coach Memo Heredia and nutritionist Jeaneth Aro.

Also in his corner was two-time world title contender Jonas Sultan, also a Zamboanga native.

“First, thanks to God for the safe and successful victory,” Marcial said in a social media post.

“Also, thanks to my countrymen who prayed and went to my fight at the Dignity Sports Park Los Angeles.”

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