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TEXAS SHOOTOUT

Marcial will be fighting for the first time since beating Steven Pichardo in a six-rounder in Carson, California, last October.

Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Eumir Marcial enters the professional boxing ring for the fourth time today with his team upbeat that he will finally score an emphatic knockout win at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

Pitted against Argentine veteran Ricardo Villalba, the southpaw Marcial will hope to score a win on the same arena where Manny Pacquiao electrified the boxing world with an 11th-round stoppage of Marco Antonio Barrera almost two decades ago.

During the official weighin, Marcial stepped in at 161.4 lbs while Villalba came in at 162 lbs.

Marcial has a 3-0-0 win-loss-draw record with one knockout while Villalba has a 20-7-1 card with eight knockouts.

Marcial will be fighting for the first time since beating Steven Pichardo in a six-rounder in Carson, California, last October.

Before that, Marcial, 27, had to lift himself off the floor thrice before halting Isiah Hart in four rounds in Las Vegas last April.

Villalba, 33, will be seeing action on American soil for only the second time and is determined to ruin Marcial’s grand plans for 2023.

The handlers of the Filipino puncher are looking at a rousing victory given that Marcial had a full training camp under strength coach Memeo Heredia and lead trainer Jorge Capetillo in Las Vegas.

It could not be determined what’s down the horizon for Marcial after this fight since he has committed to suit up for the Philippines in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Phnom Penh in May.

Also taking place towards the end of the year is the crucial 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, which has been classified as a qualifying event for the 2024 Paris Olympics, a meet Marcial is sure to take part in.

Despite turning pro in December 2020 in Los Angeles, Marcial has been moonlighting as an amateur fighter.

Last time he fought for flag and country, he captured the gold medal in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi.

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