OLYMPIAN Eumir Marcial makes his much-anticipated pro debut today, Dec. 17 (PH time), as he takes on Andrew Whitfield in a four-round middleweight bout at the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles, California.
The 25-year-old Marcial is one of the gold medal hopefuls in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics in 2021. He earned a slot in the Olympics after a dominant performance in the Asia-Oceania Olympic qualifiers in 2019 in Amman, Jordan. He also dominated the Southeast Asian Games and won a gold medal in the same year in the Philippines. Marcial finished with a silver medal in the 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Ekaterinburg, Russia after losing to Russian Gleb Bakshi by decision in the finals match.
Marcial signed with Manny Pacquiao’s MP Promotions this year and has been training under legendary boxing coach Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood.
Marcial sparred with the likes of two-time world title challenger Gabriel Rosado, former world title contender Brandon Adams and unbeaten Aram Avagyan.
The 29-year-old Whitfield should be a good test for Marcial in his first pro fight.
Whitfield has four pro fights under his belt and has a 3-1 record with two wins by knockout. He made his pro debut in 2016 with a first round stoppage over fellow newcomer CJ Mount. He dropped his second fight in the hands of Billy Wagner by unanimous decision before winning back-to-back contests against Thomas Turner and Adam Smith.
Marcial is being projected by some as a future star in the sport. He’s also one of the brightest bets to give the Philippines its first Olympic gold.
It’s a rare sight for a Filipino to fight as heavy as a middleweight, a division that’s currently stacked with stars and very marketable in the US. The middleweight division is currently the home of elite names like Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin, Jermall Charlo and Demetrius Andrade.
The Philippines has produced only one middleweight world champion in its boxing history—the late great Ceferino Garcia, who was a middleweight champion from 1939