Marcial ready for Dubai meet

Published May 7, 2021, 3:50 PM

by Waylon Galvez

Eumir Marcial, left, and national team coach Gerson Nietes after Friday’s training session in Zamboanga City. (Photo from Gerson Nietes)

Tokyo Olympics-bound boxer Eumir Marcial said that more than his form, he is more bent on getting his fighting weight in time for this year’s ASBC Asian Elite Men and Women Boxing Championships on May 21 to June 1 in Dubai.

Since he returned from the US last April 20, Marcial has been training in his hometown in Zamboanga City with Gerson Nietes, a member of the national team coaching staff, at the Zamboanga Valientes Boxing Gym.

The 25-year-old Marcial will compete in the 75kilogram middleweight category in the ASBC, and his focus right now in training is for him to lose weight in time for the tournament.

“Medyo malaki pa ang weight ko ngayon, so nage-extra ako sa training ko (I’m a bit big now, so I am doing extra work in training),” said Marcial when contacted Friday, May 7, by Manila Bulletin. “May program ako sa training, pero after that may extra pa ako (I do have a training program, but after that I do extra work).”

“Sumasama ako sa pag-plyometric exercise ng Valientes Basketball Team. Extra papawis lang naman, saka nag-enjoy naman ako. Pero sobrang ganda ng training ko dito ngayon (I join the plyometric exercise of the Valientes Basketball Team. Just need to sweat it out, which I’m enjoying.I do have a good training program right now),” added Marcial.

After he clinched a berth in the Tokyo Olympics, Marcial decided to turn professional when he signed a deal with the MP Promotions of boxing legend and Senator Manny Pacquiao.

Marcial arrived in the US in October 2020 and trained with Hall of Fame mentor Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, California. In his first fight as a pro last December 16, he earned a unanimous decision victory against American Andrew Whitfield at the Microsoft Theater in L.A.

Marcial confessed that the difference with the cold weather condition in L.A. compared to the hot temperature in the Philippines was something he had to deal with during the first week of training here.

“Medyo nahirapan and nanibago ako sa weather kasi sobrang init. Init na nakaka-panghina talaga lalo sa loob ng gym mainit talaga. Pero adjust lang, bawi-bawi lang sa tubig (The change of weather was tough, it’s hot here. As if it sucks my energy. I just have to adjust and keep hydrated),” he said.

Marcial said he would join the national team in Dubai a few days before the tournament. He said that the ASBC is an important event to measure things up with preparation for the Summer Games since this is a tune up meet before the main event, which is the Tokyo Olympics.

Marcial said he expects the top boxers from his division to join the ASBC

“Itong tournament sa Dubai parang tune up na to para sa Tokyo Olympics, pupuntahan kasi yan nga mga possible contenders. Ako naman ready ako, palagi naman ako ready sa pag-laban (This tournament in Dubai is a tune up for the Tokyo Olympics, the possible contenders will be there. I’m ready, I’m always ready to fight),” he said.

The said ASBC meet to be organized by the Asian Boxing Confederation was originally set May 21-30 in New Delhi, but because of the rising cases of COVID-19 in India, the governing body had to move the event to Dubai.

At the moment, the PH boxing team is in a training camp in Thailand, with other Tokyo Olympics-bound athletes Irish Magno and Nesthy Petecio for the women’s division, and Carlo Paalam in the men’s category.