Just moments after scoring his most impressive victory to date, Filipino middleweight Eumir Marcial raised the possibility that he might skip the 32nd Southeast Asian Games and even the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou.
Marcial had just ran his unbeaten record to 4-0 with two knockouts when he told Daily Tribune of plans by his team in the professional ranks to expedite his climb to the 160-lb rankings.
“My next fight is tentatively set in May and it’s going to be a ten-rounder,” Marcial said on Sunday, 12 February after knocking out veteran Argentine Ricardo Villalba in the second round at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
“Me and my team are happy because I had beaten a very experienced fighter,” Marcia, who won bronze in the Tokyo Olympics, said.
A right hook to the head sent Villalba down on the deck and while the beleaguered and dazed South American managed to get up, the referee wisely called a halt to the scheduled eight-round bout, giving Marcial his first big win in four bouts.
It was the second time Villalba hit the canvas as Marcial had sent him down in the opening round with a vicious left to the body after setting up the lethal blow with a double (right) jab.
Amid the celebration, Marcial floated the idea that his handlers are determined to speed things up as the heavy-handed southpaw trains his sights on the 160-lb division’s big guns.
Marcial swears time is of the essence.
“I am already 27,” he said.
Since turning professional in December 2020 in Los Angeles, Marcial has struggled to post a convincing win over his opponents.
In his second outing, he had to pick himself up from the floor thrice before stopping Isiah Hart in four rounds in Las Vegas.
Before the Villalba clash, Marcial had to go six full rounds with Steven Pichardo in Carson, California.
But the buildup for Villalba turned out to be ideal since Marcial spent more time doing strength and conditioning and regular gym sessions with chief trainer Jorge Capetillo.
Marcial admits being a pro and amateur at the same time is difficult and challenging.
Although his schedule won’t cooperate with the SEA Games, Marcial swears he would still try his best to compete in the Asian Games, an event that will serve as a qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
“I would still want to fight in the Olympics and I believe we can find a way for me to participate in the Asian Games,” he said.
Since last year, Marcial has stopped getting allowances from the Philippine Sports Commission given his status as a pro.
To keep his pro career going, Marcial’s needs are being provided by American boxing man Sean Gibbons, who spends for the fighter’s daily needs while in America.
The Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines says the door remains open for Marcial provided that he trains alongside fellow national athletes, something the Las Vegas-based puncher is amenable to doing.
“I think there’s nothing that can’t be solved when people talk things over,” Marcial added.
As a perk for his huge win, Marcial will spend a short vacation in the Philippines “so I can be with my family who I haven’t seen for a long time.”
Then it’s going to be back in the gym for him.