Around 20 rounds of sparring on the ring with American 165-pounder Gabriel Rosado got Filipino middleweight Eumir Felix Marcial in shape and ready for his first professional fight in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics.
Rosado may have lost his bout to rival Daniel Jacobs last Friday, but for Marcial, the sparring sessions got him primed up for his first pro fight that MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons is arranging for him.
“Ready na ako sa laban ko. Grabe ang training ko,” said Marcial on Zoom during Tuesday’s weekly online session of the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum, where he was joined by Gibbons.
Marcial was raving about his sessions with Rosado, who was at the time getting ready to face Daniels in a supermiddleweight encounter in Los Angeles.
He has since been working out with seven-time trainer of the year Freddie Roach and Justine Fortune, Manny Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach.
The death of Eumir’s elder brother Eliver Marcial, the eldest of the Marcial siblings, has been one of his motivations.
Eliver, 39, died after collapsing early morning of October 17.
Marcial said he promised his brother that he will win a medal in the Olympics and in an international meet before he left the country.
“Gusto ko sanang maparamdam sa pamilya ko kung ano ang maa-achieve ko. Ito ang ginagamit kong lakas para ma-boost ang energy ko,” said Marcial.
The sessions with Rosado was Marcial’s first experience in physical training since March 8.
Marcial earned a slot to the Olympiad when won the gold medal in the 2020 Asia and Oceania Olympic boxing qualifiers held in Amman, Jordan.
Gibbons said that it’s a great blessing for Marcial to train in Los Angeles, considering the difficulties athletes are having since the Philippines is in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic as authorities have prohibited many athletes to go outdoors to train.
“So, by coming here, he’s given himself a heck of a shot to really prepare for Tokyo 2021,” said Gibbons.