Marcial traces Pacquiao’s steps

Freddie Roach was presented with a novel setup in training Filipino Olympic gold medal hopeful Eumir Marcial, who finally showed up for work on Wednesday at one of boxing’s most sacred grounds in Los Angeles.

After being given a tour of the sweat shop where an unheralded Manny Pacquiao was brought to work in 2001, Marcial got dressed for his first workout with the Hall of Fame cornerman.

Marcial was driven there by MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons, who is raring to showcase the stone-fisted middleweight in his pro debut in December.

Roach’s gave Marcial a good grade after going four rounds with him in the mitts but swore “we have a lot of work to do.”

“We did four rounds of mitts followed by work on the heavy bag and the speed bag,” Roach said.

“Eumir has a lot of power and talent. 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,” the 60-year-old Roach said.

As soon as Marcial appeared, Roach was reminded of the time when Pacquiao, who had just arrived in the US, first came to see him.

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

Marcial looked like a kid inside a candy store when he got to get inside the Wild Card and it was simply a happy moment for the Zamboanga City native who blew into town just last week.

“Freddie Roach is a boxing legend in the Philippines and to think I am now training with him… it’s a dream come true,” Marcial said.

“I felt like I was walking in Manny’s footsteps when Freddie was giving me the tour of the original part of Wild Card and telling me stories about training with Manny.”

“To see the Philippines flag so prominently displayed made me very proud. And working out with Freddie was a great learning experience. I cannot wait to return for our next session,” he added.

The Tokyo Olympics will take place from 23 July to 8 August next year where Marcial is aiming to put an end to the Philippines’ close to a 100-year-old hunt for a gold medal.

Date: October 17, 2020 | By: Nick Giongco | Newspaper: Tribune | Source: