TOKYO Olympics-bound athlete and new professional fighter Eumir Felix Marcial has been making strides in his training in the United States (US), particularly in building up his confidence.

Currently training at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, California, Mr. Marcial, 25, shared that he welcomes the opportunity to once again work on his game after being “inactive” for the large part of the last seven months because of the restrictions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

In particular, he cited regaining his confidence, which he admitted was affected by the limited things he could do in training.

“Steadily, I’m regaining my confidence after doing sparring work. It has been a while since I had this kind of training. I’m happy that I made the decision to go here in the US and train,” said Mr. Marcial in the vernacular.

Mr. Marcial last fought in March of this year when he won the gold and an outright Olympic slot during the Asian Olympic Qualifiers held in Amman, Jordan.

He then signed a professional contract with MP Promotions of Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao in July.

To further ramp up his preparation for the rescheduled Olympic Games next year, Zamboanga native Marcial is set to submit a proposal to the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to request appropriate funding for his training program.

Under the program, famed trainer Freddie Roach will serve as his lead trainer, with Justin Fortune as his conditioning coach and Mr. Roach’s Filipino deputy Marvin Somodio as assistant trainer.

Mr. Marcial is also hoping to get head coach Ronald Chavez and one Filipino sports masseur trainer to join him in his training camp.

“The ABAP and PSC said they will support this program because they know I’m now comfortable with coach Freddie, but I’m hoping that coach Ronald could join me here as well,” he said.

Work continues for Mr. Marcial as MP Promotions is angling to give Mr. Marcial his first fight as a professional, sometime in December.

“I’m looking forward to having my first pro fight in December, but my main focus is to continue training and get my conditioning back for the Olympics. That’s my priority right now—Olympic gold. Nothing else,” Mr. Marcial said.

While signed with their group, Sean Gibbons, MP Promotions president, made it clear that they are behind the Olympic quest of Mr. Marcial and that their plans for the fighter early on are geared towards complementing his training for the Tokyo Games.

Mr. Marcial is one of two Filipino boxers to date who have qualified for the Olympics next year. The other being Irish Magno. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo