Manny Pacquiao said Tokyo Olympics qualifier Eumir Marcial should learn his lesson following his unceremonious exit in the Asian championships recently held in Dubai.
Marcial was upset by unseeded Uzbek Jafarov Saidjamshid in their middleweight contest, sending the tournament top seed crashing back to earth and coming to grips with reality that sheer talent alone doesn’t win fights.
Pacquiao admitted he didn’t watch Marcial’s lackluster performance but he was told that the 25-year-old Zamboanga southpaw was not in 100 percent condition.
“Ang sabi sa akin kulang sa training (I was told he lacked training),” Pacquiao told Daily Tribune.
Still, Pacquiao insists Marcial has a chance to redeem himself in Tokyo.
“(The loss in Dubai) doesn’t matter because he is still fighting in the Olympics. Magiging lesson sa kanya para di sya maging overconfident (It should teach him a lesson that he can’t afford to get overconfident),” Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao, winner of an unprecedented eight world titles in as many weight classes, feels Marcial didn’t have enough ammo when he flew to compete in Dubai.
“Ang boxing ay parang gyera. Pag nagpunta ka sa gyera at wala kang baril at kulang ang bala, ano ang gagawin mo dun? Alangan naman mag-time out ka muna. Wala ka makukuhang bala (Boxing is like going to war. When you go to war and you don’t have a gun and bullets, what are you going to do there? Don’t tell me you are going to ask for a timeout because you came ill-prepared).”
Marcial blew into Dubai with glowing credentials.
In 2019, he placed second in the world championships and during the 2020 Asia-Oceania Olympic Qualification Tournament in Amman, Jordan, Marcial captured the gold medal.
But that alone won’t be enough, according to Pacquiao, who has amazed Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach with his work ethic the past two decades.
“Huwag nya isipin na magaling na sya at malakas na sya. Kailangan talaga hard work and training (He shouldn’t think that he is already very good and strong. Hard work and training are important),” said Pacquiao, who at 42, is scheduled to battle unbeaten American Errol Spence on 21 August in Las Vegas.
Marcial is now back in training mode and is currently in Los Angeles waiting for the green light to proceed to Colorado Springs for the final phase of his Olympic buildup.
Again, Pacquiao reminds every fighter to treat training very seriously.