EUMIR Marcial has yet to throw a punch as a professional. But this early, he has gained a big fan in the trainer of reigning International Boxing Federation (IBF) bantamweight champion Jerwin Ancajas.
"Sa tingin ko, talagang magiging world champion siya, at tatagal sa kanya 'yung belt kung siya ay mag-pro," said Ancajas' trainer Joven Jimenez during a recent appearance on "The Hit List" podcast.
The 24-year-old Marcial made it to the Olympic Games set next year in Tokyo, one of four Filipino bets who had qualified for the Summer Games originally set next month but was postponed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The prized amateur is expected to turn pro even before he could climb the ring in Tokyo .
According to Jimenez, Marcial has the talents to join the long line of Filipino world boxing champions once he joins the pro ranks..
"Andoon na nga sa kanya 'yung katangian ng isang magiging world champion na boxer," the trainer explained. "Mabait, maalalahanin, responsable, nagte-training kahit mag-isa, nandoon lahat."
"Malakas, magaling, nandoon. Matapang. Nandoon na lahat sa kanya."
While he is impressed with Marcial's capabilities and work ethic, Jimenez made it clear that he is not recruiting the fighter to join him and Ancajas in Survival Camp. Ancajas has been staying at the 1,500-square meter camp in Cavite during the quarantine period.
Jimenez said he is well aware of Marcial's conundrum about turning professional, and he does not wish to add to the Filipino boxer's woes.
"Iwas kami, kasi ayaw namin makisawsaw," he said. "Kung gusto naman ni Eumir na pumunta dito sa camp, dito siya mag-training, pumasyal siya dito. Kapag pumunta siya dito kakatayan namin siya ng isang malaking baka at ile-lechon."
"Welcome siya dito sa amin, kung anong gusto niyang mangyari sa buhay niya," Jimenez stressed. "Pero kami, hindi kami makikialam sa sitwasyon niya ngayon, kasi alam namin napakahirap talaga eh."
Marcial, for his part, has nothing but respect for Jimenez who has helped Ancajas become a world champion. He is also grateful that the coach has offered to help him, should he want to train with them.
However, Marcial believes the best place for him to train is in the United States, citing the lack of sparring partners in the Philippines.
"Wala po kahit sa pro boxing, wala pong kilala na middleweight," said Marcial. "I think 'yung best po, makapag-training ako, kapag mag-start ng pro, is sa US para may mga ka-sparring po ako doon."