With sights still set on Olympics, Marcial passes first pro test
Eumir Felix Marcial aced his first ever professional fight on Thursday but wants to get back to training the soonest to prepare for his biggest target of the year: The Philippines’ first-ever Olympic gold medal.
Marcial scored a unanimous decision over American Andrew Whitfield in Los Angeles on Saturday and then turned down an offer from his managing MP Promotions to have the next week off as he aims as the best fighter that he could be come the Tokyo Games in July.
“They (MP Promotions) asked me if I want a week off,” said Marcial in Filipino. “But I said I want to train as soon as possible because I need to get experience.”
MP Promotions had earlier said that it would want Marcial to have at least two more fights before the Olympics in August.
But Marcial’s concern is the lack of worthy sparring sessions as possible spar mates are now demanding fees.
“It’s a good thing they gave me an opponent that wouldn’t just take a tumble,” he said in Filipino.
Whitfield came out willing to engage the Filipino top prospect, who answered the first bell swinging to plant a welt below the American’s right eye.
The four-rounder progressed and Marcial pounded that injury even more, though the American kept coming in and gave Marcial the kind of first pro bout that he needed.
“I felt his power in the first round,” admitted Marcial, citing the 10-pound gloves which are two pounds lighter than than the ones he used as an amateur.
Marcial was going for a knockout, but Whitfield had a durable chin, although he couldn’t claim the scalp of Marcial, like he did three of his first first opponents who were also making their pro debuts.
Whitfield, a veteran mixed martial arts fighter, ran into a quicker opponent who immediately branded his face with a massive cut in the first round before shifting his attack to the body.
By the third round, Marcial finally felt at home, throwing combinations and then turning sideways with flair en route to the dominating victory.
Don De Verges, Ron Scott Stevens and Damian Walton all scored it 40-36 in favor of Marcial.
Ringside tallied 320 punches thrown by Marcial, landing 120 of them. Whitfield connected just 46 of 273 thrown punches.
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