In the runup to the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, Eumir Marcial was busy banging bodies and leaving a trail of broken bones and bloody nostrils in the United States.
“I have spoken to his sparring partners and they all ask me how hard Eumir’s punches are. Someone said that his hands had TNT and the other said he had stone for hands,” Sean Gibbons, the do-it-all American boxing man told me over the phone following the Filipino lefty’s sensational semis showing.
(Marcial was scheduled to go for the gold medal against a Chinese rival late Thursday)
In the midst of Marcial’s mighty performance, almost everyone expressed awe over the fighter’s right hand.
It was that same right that blasted his Thai quarterfinal foe into bits.
That same punch — a right hook — also sent his Syrian semis opponent down hard in the second round, sending the Philippine gallery in a frenzy.
But you know what?
That right hand of his had to be operated on last March after he had reinjured it in his fourth pro fight in San Antonio, Texas, last February.
Actually, that injury is not new.
It had been a recurring one.
Even during his heyday as a full amateur, Marcial had complained about that same hand.
So, before it got worse, Gibbons advised Marcial to have it operated on.
It seems now that his right hand has fully healed and it only means there would be a lot of guys — not just in the amateurs — who will have the unfortunate experience of absorbing that wicked blow thrown with the baddest of intentions.
I don’t know but that right has morphed into a man-stopper. A .45 caliber handgun.
Gibbons said that Marcial has to revert to his pro status after the Asian Games as he has a contract to honor.
“I am so excited,” Gibbons said after watching the fight live from his Las Vegas home.
Gibbons added that before Marcial heads for Paris, he can string up one or as many as two fights in the pros, something that would aid him in his bid for the elusive gold in the 2024 Olympics.
Had it not been for Marcial’s extraordinary exploits, the Philippine boxing would end its campaign on a bad note.
As always, boxing delivers.