By Josef Ramos
JUST like any other boxer aiming for the big time in the US, Eumir Felix Marcial has to go through a daily grind coupled with having to earn his keeps to survive in the US.
Even Olympic medalists like him aren’t exempted.
“It’s really tough and you really need to save a lot of money,” Marcial, 27, told BusinessMirror after a break in training at the Top Rank Gym in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Marcial remains atop the list on the national boxing team as a priority athlete with his bronze from the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. But because he turned pro in October 2020, he no longer a receives monthly cash allowance from the Philippine Sports Commission.
“But I don’t have any regrets. No problem,” said Marcial, who has yet to know his opponent in his fourth professional next month after his supposed Mexical foe wasn’t cleared by the Nevada Athletic Association.
Marcial, one of several outstanding athletes from Zamboanga City most notable of whom is Olympic weightlifting gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo, has already learned so much both atop the ring and in life while in the US.
“We just have to be smart, be professional and mature in dealing here entirely, not just about boxing,” he said.
Princess, also a former amateur boxer, serves as Marcial’s manager. She checks on his husband’s regimen and fight contracts and as importantly, the duties of a wife which, she said, revolves around their home and budgeting daily expenses.
“We really need to save whatever money we have from Eumir’s previous fights here,” Princess said, adding she also makes sure Marcial gets the proper nutrition every day. “It’s balancing beef, chicken, milk, fruit juices, among other nutritional needs.”
Marcial, a four-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist at middleweight, thanked his promoter, MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons, for chipping in on their daily expenses.
“All expenses are mine, but I’m thankful to Sean [Gibbons] for helping us out with the rent and for lending me his car while I’m here,” Marcial said. “It’s no longer Sean’s obligation to pay some of our bills, but he’s always there for us.”
Despite being under contract with MP Promotions, Marcial doesn’t receive a regular salary. He needs to fight to get paid.
Marcial’s trainer, coach, conditioning coach and promoter are mandated to get cuts from his purse—the amount of which neither he nor Gibbons refuse to divulge.
Marcial trains six days a week under Mexican Jorge Capetillo in preparation for his February fight. He now spars regularly with fellow middleweights or heavier boxers with Reggie Hobson keenly monitoring his strength and conditioning.
He said training in the US has more advantages than in Manila, or in Imus City where he and Princess built their home.
“It’s cheaper back home, but with the daily distractions and lack of quality training sessions and sparring partners, it’s way fat better here in the US,” he said.
Marcial began his pro career in December 2020 by beating Andrew Whitfield in a four-round unanimous decision in Los Angeles. His second fight was almost a disaster when he was knocked down thrice, but still got up and scored a fourth-round technical knockout win over Isiah Hart last April 10 in Las Vegas.
He fought with a nasty cut above his right eye and beat Steven Pichardo last October 8 in Carson City via unanimous decision in his third fight.
His fourth fight—a six-rounder—is set February 11 in San Antonio, Texas.