There’s no place like home for Eumir Marcial as he takes his vigorous preparations for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics to Zamboanga City.
After a successful pro debut and training in the US, Marcial returned to his hometown on Tuesday to prepare for his campaign of giving the Philippines its first Olympic gold medal.
Throwing their full support behind Marcial is the Navarro family.
The late Lando Navarro, a key figure in Zamboanga's sports development, saw Marcial's potential even in his younger years, rewarding him every time he bagged a win.
Now Marcial is nearing his goal, the Navarros continue to honor their patriarch's commitment.
The family shouldered all expenses of Marcial's entourage, including coaches Joven Jimenez and Gerson Nietes, and boxer Jonas Sultan. Thay also provided the group a boxing gym, complete with training equipment.
No wonder that Marcial is all praises for the support he has been getting from the Navarros, who also co-own the Zamboanga Valientes basketball teams.
“I am very grateful to the support of the Navarro family and the Zamboanga Valientes, because of them I was able to train in my hometown. This opportunity gives me more inspiration to do my best to win the gold for my city and country,” he said.
Jimenez, head trainer of world super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas, also thanked the Navarro family for the help and support the Valientes have given them since their arrival.
“I am truly thankful to Sir Junnie Navarro, because we did not expect that we will have this kind of warm welcome and undying support for Eumir and every one of us. We haven’t gotten any kind of support such as this, only from Sir Junnie,” he said.
Nietes of the Philippine boxing team echoed the sentiments of Marcial and Jimenez.
"A million thanks to the Navarro family for taking good care of not only Eumir but also us coaches. Our needs are well taken care of from food, shelter, etc, making sure that we are comfortable and at ease with our stay here in Zamboanga,” said Nietes.
The Zamboanga City government, through Mayor Beng Climaco and Councilor Pinpin Pareja, is also all out in helping Marcial.
With the Navarro family, the Zamboanga Valientes, and his city rallying behind him, Marcial is pumped up in his pursuit of that elusive Olympic gold.