MANILA, Philippines -- Philippine boxing icon Manny Pacquiao sent a message of support to Eumir Marcial, after the young boxer's loss in the semifinal of the men's middleweight division in the Tokyo Olympics.
In a thrilling slugfest, Marcial lost out to Ukrainian top seed Oleksandr Khyzhniak, missing out on the chance to fight for a gold medal. He will go home instead with a bronze.
But Pacquiao, whom Marcial counts as his idol, called on the young boxer to keep his head up.
"Thank you, Eumir Marcial for giving your best! Your Olympic effort was solid gold," the "Pacman" said on Twitter.
Marcial turned professional last year and signed with Pacquiao's MP Promotions. He already has one pro match under his belt, a unanimous decision win over Andrew Whitfield.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao also offered his congratulations to Filipino flyweight Carlo Paalam, who advanced to the gold medal match of his division after an impressive victory over Japan's Tanaka Ryomei.
"Fight for Gold, Carlo Paalam! We are rooting for you," Pacquiao said.
Paalam has a chance to win the Philippines' second gold of the Tokyo Olympics, and its first ever gold medal in Olympic boxing.
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