Marcial to rely on power, timing

Marcial to rely on power, timing

MANILA, Philippines — Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist Eumir Marcial will rely on his power and timing to upend Argentinian veteran Ricardo Ruben (Bebo) Villalba in their scheduled eight-round bout at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, this morning (Manila time).

In yesterday’s weigh-in, Marcial tipped the scales at 161.4 pounds while Villalba was on the dot at the fight limit of 162.

Marcial, 27, said he went back to the gym a week after his previous fight last October, took a brief break to celebrate his birthday in New York City that same month then resumed training with coach Jorge Capetillo in Las Vegas. He suffered a deep gash that took five stitches to close in his last outing and said the wound is completely healed. “Walang headgear sa sparring at mga heavyweights ang ka-spar ko sa Top Rank Gym,” he said. “Handang-handa na ako kay Villalba. Pinanood ko mga videos niya, slugger siya, may lakas at pasugod. Maganda ang camp namin ni Papa Jorge.  Focus kami sa head movement para ‘di magka-untugan, strength and conditioning, lower body and legs, yung tamang professional stance. Given na ang power ko kaya nag-concentrate kami sa timing.”

Marcial said he struggled to make weight in his first two pro fights but since nutritionist Jeaneth Aro came on board, it’s been a breeze. Before Marcial flew from Las Vegas to San Antonio on an early morning flight last Thursday, his weight was 164.8. He said dropping to 154 to fight in the superwelterweight division is a future option. Marcial said fighting in the coming SEA Games is a possibility but at the moment, it’s not on his mind. “Si Villalba ang nasa-isip ko lang,” he said. “Pagkatapos ng laban, mag-uusap kami ni Sir Sean (Gibbons) tungkol sa next step.”

This will be Marcial’s first eight-round engagement as a pro or amateur. Villalba, 33, is a grizzled veteran with 28 fights under his belt compared to Marcial’s three and has figured in four 12-rounders and four 10-rounders. Experience will be on the Argentinian’s side but Gibbons said he’s confident Marcial will pass the test with flying colors.

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