Filipino Olympian Eumir Felix Marcial recovered from three knockdowns to score a dramatic 4th round technical knockout win against a game American Isiah Hart Sunday morning (Manila time) at the Virgins Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Fighting for the first time since claiming a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics July of last year, Marcial started the fight seemingly measuring the skill of his lanky foe when he got tagged with a quick counter right that sent the Zamboangeño falling flat on his back.
The 26-year-old Marcial though got up quick from the knockdown and immediately Filipino stepped on the gas pedal from then on.
But Marcial being too eager saw him suffer two more trips to the canvass in the second round, both by Hart’s blinding right counter.
“He showed great heart, intentional fortitude. He got up, went back to work and just ran off a couple of more bombs. Overall, it was a great learning experience.” Said MP President Sean Gibbons who was at ringside to provide assistance to Team Marcial.
By the third, Marcial continued to pursue Hart but became more cautious until the Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist staggered the American with a left straight to the temple in the fourth round.
Referee Raul Caiz, Jr. immediately stepped in to prevent Marcial from unleashing an onslaught on the wobbled New Jersey-based boxer.
The end came at :47 of the fourth canto of the fight where Marcial (2-0, 1 knockout) trailed on all three judges’ scorecards via identical 26-29 tallies.
Meanwhile, Marcial and his wife Princess are scheduled to return to the country this week then will immediately proceed to Thailand to join the National Boxing Team that is gearing up for the country’s campaign in the upcoming Southeast Asian Games set to happen next month in Vietnam.
Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Eumir Marcial’s hand being raised by referee Raul Caiz, Jr. (Photo courtesy of Jhay Otamias)
Admitting that he felt he came up short despite scoring a win in his initial professional boxing foray, Olympic bronze medalist Eumir Felix Marcial assures he is all set to do better come his second pro fight.
The 26-year-old Marcial will climb the ring once more Sunday morning (Manila time) when he battles nine-fight veteran Isiah Hart in a four-round battle in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Marcial scored a unanimous decision win over another American Andrew Whitfield in a middleweight encounter last December 2020 in Los Angeles, winning all four rounds on all three scorecards in this fight which served as his pro debut.
In preparing for Whitfield, Marcial had to deal with numerous personal issues, the biggest of which was the untimely death of his older brother Eliver.
“Less than two months na lang laban ko that time, lagi ako puyat kasi naka-monitor ako gabi-gabi sa family ko. Yung COVID din masyado pa mahigpit noon kaya hindi din makakilos ng maayos,” said Marcial.
Marcial’s victory over Whitfield happened nine months after winning a gold during the 2020 Asia and Oceania Olympic in Amman, Jordan where the Zamboanga City-native pugilist officially earned a slot in the 2020 Tokyo Games.
Marcial’s fight against Hart (6-2-1, 4 knockouts), to be held at the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, will happen seven months after his Olympic campaign in Tokyo, Japan.
“Malaki pagkakaiba ngayon kasi kumpleto sparring ko. Maganda din epekto ng bagong training team ko lalo na si (Conditioning) coach Memo (Heredia) na napaka-professional talaga sa pag-handle ng program ko,” said Marcial.
During Saturday’s weigh-in, Marcial came in at 160.2 lbs. while Hart tallied 161.8.
After being under the guidance of Freddie Roach in preparing for Whitfield, Marcial tapped the services of another veteran guru Jorge Capetillo for his bout against Hart.
“Talagang fulltime siya sa akin. Pag time na ng training ko, sa akin siya from start to finish. Even sa morning run ko kahit hindi naman siya kailangan doon, pinupuntahan niya pa din ako,” added Marcial.
Capetillo rose to prominence as trainer of the charismatic British boxer Tyson Fury, the current Ring Magazine and WBC world Heavyweight champion.
Marcial’s upcoming bout will happen beneath the 12-round WBC interim super welterweight title fight between Erickson Lubin and Sebastian Fundora.
The road to boxing greatness continues for Eumir Felix Marcial as he now embarks on securing his second professional victory in the United States.
After months of committing to business and personal matters owing to his Olympic achievement, Marcial arrived in the US Tuesday night (Wednesday morning, Manila time)
to commence his Los Angeles training camp in anticipation of an upcoming bout early April.
“Finally, I can now fully focus on my training. I was told to prepare for a scheduled outing. I need to be in excellent shape because I want to get back in the ring soon and also make myself available for the national team by May,” said Marcial.
Marcial is also eyeing a possible stint at the 31st Southeast Asian Games scheduled on May 12-23 in Hanoi, Vietnam. Marcial won gold medals in the last three biennial meets and is looking at a fourth straight SEA Games title.
From LA, the 26-year-old Marcial will move to Las Vegas to be with famed conditioning coach Angel Memo Heredia by mid-February, something that excites the Zamboangeño Olympian.
“I thank Sir Sean (Gibbons, MP Promotions President) and Senator Manny (Pacquiao) for making sure I get the best possible team here in the US. I know a lot of great things that coach Memo has done that’s why it excites me a lot that I will also be under Memo’s program,” said Marcial.
Marcial, a native of Lunzuran, Zamboanga City, signed a multi-year contract with Pacquiao’s MP Promotions July of 2020 then made his pro debut in December of the same year, beating American Andrew Whitfield in a four-round battle in Los Angeles.
After claiming a bronze medal in last year’s Tokyo Olympics, Marcial married his longtime partner Princess Galarpe in a classy beachside wedding in Batangas.
Marcial started the year by training in Tagaytay City together with world-rated fellow Zamboangeño Jonas Sultan.
CAPTION: Olympic bronze medalist Eumir Felix Marcial (left) is reunited with MP Promotions President Sean Gibbons in the boxer’s Los Angeles apartment Monday night (Tuesday morning, Manila time). (Photo courtesy of Eumir Marcial)
Yesterday in the US fans tuning into Fox Sports 1 had the chance to see the professional debut of Filipino amateur standout Eumir Felix Marcial (1-0), as he took on tough American fighter Andrew Whitfield (3-2, 2) in a 4 round Middleweight.
On paper this was an interesting match up for Marcial, though it became little more than a showcase against an opponent who seemed play his part perfectly. Whitfield wasn't there to spoil and survive, like we sometimes see in the UK, but was there to win and spent good portions of the fight trying to fight toe to toe with the Filipino. Sadly for Whitfield that wasn't a tactic that was going to work, and Marcial was too quick, too sharp and too energetic for him.
Despite Marcial being too good Whitfield kept coming forward, looking to test Marcial mentally and physically. Whitfield landed a good right hand in the opening round, but his success was, for the most part, limited and he was very comfortably out landed in every every round. The shots from Marcial ended up leaving Whitfield with nasty swelling around his right eye, but he showed absolutely no quit, and survived the 4 round schedule.
After 4 rounds there was no doubting Marcial had won every round, but credit goes to Whitfield for making this such a great fight, and really going out there with belief and hunger. This wasn't an easy debut for Marcial, and as a result he really did get to show what he could do on debut, and certainly caught the eye of fans who got the chance to see a really fun 4 rounder.
We suspect that Marcial will work on having a more defensive style in the future, but this was the ideal debut and was the sort of performance that will catch the eye of fans who perhaps weren't aware of the wonderfully talented Pinoy pugilist.
As well as wanting to see more of Marcial, obviously, we also want to see more of Whitfield, who genuinely did give his all here and deserves more TV bouts on the back of this one.
Olympian Eumir Felix Marcial admits he is feeling some pressure a day before he makes his highly-anticipated ring return.
But the thought of winning his upcoming fight as a birthday gift to his promoter Manny Pacquiao is helping Marcial loosen up a bit.
The Zamboanga-native Marcial will face American Andrew Whitfield in a four-round battle Thursday morning (Manila time) which will be the Filipino Olympian’s first official professional bout to be held at the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles, California.
“Dagdag motivation din ito kasi sakto pa na birthday ni senator Manny dyan sa Pilipinas habang lumalaban ako dito. Ito na muna siguro ang magandang regalo ko kay senator habang nandito ako sa US,” said Marcial who travelled to the US last October to train under Freddie Roach.
Pacquiao will be turning 42 on Thursday, December 17.
Last July, Marcial signed a promotional deal with Pacquiao’s MP Promotions after giving his assurance to the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) that he will still pursue his Olympic campaign no matter what.
The Olympics already opened its doors to professional boxers starting in the 2016 Rio Games.
Marcial qualified to the Tokyo Games after winning the gold medal during the Asia-Oceania Olympic Qualifying Tournament last March in Amman, Jordan.
He has since been idle until he decided to sign up with MP Promotions which immediately gave him a chance to train with Roach starting last October.
“Lahat ng ito, preparation para sa Olympics. Kahit na professional na itong laban ko, lahat ng kasama ko ngayon, si coach Freddie, coach Marvin (Somodio), coach Justin (Fortune), Sir (MPP President) Sean (Gibbons), ang nasa isip namin lahat Olympics,” said Marcial.
During the weigh-in one day before the fight, Marcial registered 162.4lbs while Whitfield came in at 165.8lbs. The contracted weight is 163lbs.
“The real key is to focus on the Olympics but to get an experience to have a couple of four rounders, six rounders under his belt because all of the guys he is going to compete against (in the Olympics) are fighting in tournaments or turning pro,” Gibbons said.
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