Manila Bulletin

Eumir’s ring lessons with Roach begins

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Top Olympic bet Eumir Felix Marcial has started his training at the famed Wild Card Gym Thursday afternoon in Hollywood, California.

Marcial, who turned pro recently, was welcomed by Hall of Fame trainer

Freddie Roach who agreed to take the 24-year-old Zamboanga native under his wings while the Filipino boxer prepares himself for forthcomin­g profession­al fights and next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Marcial did four rounds of mitts with Roach.

Since 2001, Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club has been the training camp for eight-division world champion and Philippine senator Manny Pacquiao.

On Wednesday, Marcial, a member of the 2021 Philippine­s Olympic boxing team and part of Pacquiao’s MP Promotions’ stable of fighters, entered through the same door to meet with the seven-time Trainer of the Year.

“When Eumir walked through the door into the upstairs gym, I flashed back to 2001 when Manny (Pacquiao) first walked through the same door looking for someone to do mitts with him,” said Roach.

After giving Marcial and MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons the cook’s tour of the top floor, they adjourned to the more private downstairs gym for a workout

“Eumir has a lot of power and talent but we have a lot of work to do. It’s a very unusual situation working on a fighter’s profession­al debut knowing that we will be preparing for the Olympics after he turns profession­al. I really hope we can be the first to bring a world title and Olympic gold to the Philippine­s. That would be very special,” said Roach.

Before the pandemic shut the world down, Marcial had been on a roll. He punched his ticket for the 2021 Olympics in March by winning all four of his bouts in the Asia-Oceania Olympic Qualifying tournament in Amman, Jordan.

Last December, he captured the gold at the 30th Southeast Asian Games as well as the silver medal in last year’s World Boxing Championsh­ips.

Marcial’s illustriou­s résumé also includes being a three-time SEA games champion.

 ?? (Courtesy of Sean Gibbons/MP Promotions) ?? Freddie Roach, right, and Eumir Felix Marcial.
(Courtesy of Sean Gibbons/MP Promotions) Freddie Roach, right, and Eumir Felix Marcial.

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