Olympic-bound Filipino boxer Eumir Marcial has been making strides in his training in the United States, as he continues to pursue his dream of winning a gold medal for the Philippines.
According to IBF junior bantamweight champion Jerwin Ancajas, who has been training with Marcial in Los Angeles, the heavy-handed middleweight has greatly improved since his arrival at the Wild Card Gym in October 2020.
"'Yung goal niya talaga, makakuha ng ginto," Ancajas said of the 25-year-old Marcial.
"Sa training, binubuhos niya talaga, hindi siya nagpapabaya," he added. "'Di natin alam kasi iba 'yung laro ng amateur, pero ngayon, masasabi ko na ibang Eumir 'yung makikita ninyo pagdating sa Olympics."
Marcial left for the US last year to ramp up his preparation for the Summer Games, and made his debut as a professional boxer in December with a unanimous decision win over Andrew Whitfield.
There has been no word yet on when his next professional fight will be, and the Philippines' boxing federation is hoping that he will join the national team in its training camp in Thailand.
Marcial is also expected to compete in the Asian Boxing Championships in New Delhi, India in May.
But Ancajas assured that Marcial has been putting in the work in training, and has been turning heads with his impressive power.
"Sana, gabayan ng Panginoon ang kundisyon niya, na mabigyan siya ng magandang kundisyon. Pero kung masasabi ko 'yung ano ni Eumir ngayon, iba na 'yung suntok ni Eumir," said Ancajas.
"Ngayon pa lang, masasabi ko sa inyo na, lahat ng mga nakaka-sparring ni Eumir doon, talagang minsan iniiwasan na siya," he added. "'Yan lang ang maano ko muna ngayon, kasi iniiwasan siya kasi nambubugbog."
Ancajas, who on Sunday successfully defended his IBF belt against Mexico's Jonathan Rodriguez, said their entire camp is in full support of Marcial's quest to be the first Filipino to win an Olympic gold medal.
Because of this, Ancajas is putting off his return to the Philippines to continue helping Marcial in his preparation.
"Sasamahan namin siya. Kung ano mang gusto ni Eumir. Gusto naming suportahan 'yung morale na suporta namin para kay Eumir," he explained.
"Sa amin, kaya sinasamahan namin si Eumir para gagabay din sa kanya," he also said. "Kumbaga, kung may sakali man na may problemang darating, magpayo-payo, ganyan."
For Ancajas, who also once dreamt of Olympic glory, Marcial deserves all the support and help as he tries to bring a gold medal back to the Philippines.
"Ibuhos natin 'yung suporta sa kanya, kasi kumbaga, bihira lang darating sa buhay natin ang opportunity na ganyan," said Ancajas. "At nakikita ko kay Eumir na pursigido talaga siya at gusto siya. Alam naman natin, nagsakripisyo na rin talaga si Eumir."
"Hindi siya umuwi, talagang nandito siya para makakuha pa ng ibang pag-ensayo at mga technique, kasi marami siyang ka-sparring dito," he added.