//Boxing & MMA

After Triumphant Homecoming, Eumir Marcial Sets Sights on Olympics

Eumir Marcial’s first fight in the Philippines in nearly five years pretty much went according to plan.

Prior to Saturday night, Filipino boxer Eumir Marcial hadn’t fought in front of his countrymen since the 2019 Manila Southeast Asian Games. He certainly made his homecoming fight a memorable one as he knocked out cold Thailand’s Thoedsak Sinam in the fourth round of their bout at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

In front of a crowd that included World Boxing Council president Mauricio Sulaiman, Marcial put on a show, unleashing a vicious left uppercut that sent Sinam staggering back and collapsing in a heap. Referee Danrex Tapdasan counted out the Thai fighter, who lay on his back for several seconds and had to be given oxygen. The official end came at 1:33 of the fourth.

Marcial admitted he was a little worried after he saw the oxygen mask being placed on Sinam’s face.

“Medyo (kinabahan),” he said. “Nagpapasalamat ako nung nakita ko siya, okay siya.”

Marcial improved to 5-0 (3 KOs) as a professional, while Sinam saw his record dip to 23-14.

The bout was supposed to be held at 165 pounds, but even though both fighters weighed in slightly above the limit, they elected to proceed.

Marcial said he knew it was lights out as soon as he connected with the uppercut, which he had been setting up in the first two rounds.

“Pagkita ko nung tumama ang uppercut ko, sabi ko baka hindi na siya tumayo. Sabi ko pag tinamaan talaga ito, tapos na ang laban.

“Kung napansin niyo, nung first round, second round, sinusubukan ko na iyong uppercut ko sa chin. Maintain ko lang iyong jab ko, at dadating talaga sa time na matatamaan ko din siya sa uppercut.

“Ang plano namin talaga is three to four rounds, susubukan namin i-knockout. Kung hindi kaya, fifth round relax and then susubukan namin sa sixth, seventh, eighth.”

Eumir Marcial delivered a crunching uppercut that sent Thoedsak Sinam to the canvass. (Wendell Alinea)
Next target: gold in Paris

Marcial won a bronze medal in the men’s 75kg division at the Tokyo Olympics. He qualified for Paris by bagging a silver in the men’s 80kg division at last year’s Hangzhou Asian Games. Now, he’s set his sights on that elusive Olympic gold medal.

With this professional bout out of the way, he will revert to amateur training when he returns to the US next month to set up camp at Colorado Springs. His team already has a plan in place.

“Pagdating sa Olympics, pag nakita niyo ang Cuba, lalo na mga Latin American, pag lumaban, ang gagaling nila mag jab,” he said. “Kaya nilang manalo ng jab lang. Kahit tatlong round, jab lang ang gamit nila, kaya nila manalo.

“So iyon ang pina-practice namin ngayon, iyong damihan ko ang jab ko. Mas sharp pa, kasi very effective talaga pag ginagamit namin. Lalo na sa amateur, mostly nakikita natin mga boxer natin kulang sa jab.

“Sa three rounds, kasama ang team ko, iyon ang paghahandaan namin. Sa next camp, ang laban namin is three rounds lang. Lalo namin pabibilisan, mas maraming suntok, mas aggressive.”

Since he’ll be fighting at his heaviest weight class ever, Marcial has some work to do on his body.

“Kailangan kong mag build ng muscle dahil maliit na ako sa weight class ko. Iyong natural weight ko talaga sa Olympics kung saan ako nakakuha ng medal is 75 kilos, so kailangan kong mag gain ng five kilos. I think perfect na ang weight ko ngayon para pagdating ko sa Paris, iyon na ang weight na nilalabanan ko.”

Banner image courtesy of Wendell Alinea/MP Promotions