Boxing: Marcial unlikely to fight idols Golovkin, Canelo

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 28 2020 02:43 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- While it is unlikely that Eumir Marcial will get to face off against his idols in the middleweight division, there is no lack of "dream fights" for the young Filipino boxer.

Marcial, who officially turned pro when he signed with Manny Pacquiao's MP Promotions recently, knows that he is far from the level of Kazakhstan's Gennady Golovkin and Mexico's Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, who have dominated the middleweight division in recent years.

"Sa ngayon pa naman sir, hindi ko pa naman iniisip 'yun, kasi ang layo ko pa," Marcial answered frankly when asked about a potential showdown with either "Triple G" or Alvarez during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum.

"Kailangan pa natin mag-training ng maayos, ang dami pa nating pagdadaaanan na mga laban," he said.

The 24-year-old then added, in jest: "Siguro 'pag matanda na sila."

For Marcial's promoter, however, it is improbable that he will ever get to fight either Golovkin or Alvarez. MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons believes that by the time Marcial fully focuses on his professional career for good, Golovkin will be retired, and Alvarez will be in another weight class.

Marcial had signed a six-year deal with MP Promotions, but his focus in the first year of the deal will be to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Gibbons plans to put him in three professional bouts, with a possible debut in October, to help him in his quest.

"In two or three years, Triple G is gonna be watching Eumir's fights from the front row. I think he's got a limited time left, two years at the most," Gibbons said of the 38-year-old Golovkin, who is known for his remarkable punching power.

"Canelo is wonderful but he's already gone up to 168. These are guys that are great now. Canelo is still gonna be around but he's not gonna be at 160, he's gonna be at 168," he added.

Alvarez last fought at middleweight in April 2019, when he outpointed Daniel Jacobs to unify all the middleweight belts. He moved up to light heavyweight later than year, knocking out Sergey Kovalev in the 11th round. The Mexican superstar was supposed to fight at super middleweight this year, too, but his bout against Billie Joe Saunders was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gibbons assured that while Golovkin and Alvarez may be out of reach, Marcial will not lack for challenges.

"Eumir will have a whole new class of fighters that are coming up now," he said. "But the Triple Gs of the world, Canelo are going to be gone from that division."

Gibbons pointed out that Kazakhstan has up-and-coming boxers in the amateur ranks who can be compared to Golovkin, and that Marcial is likely to face at least one of them in the Olympics. 

"He (Marcial) will be fighting the Triple Gs that just have a different name, but (they're) the same type of guy," Gibbons explained.

While he may not get to fight them, Marcial can continue to learn from and be inspired by both Golovkin and Alvarez. 

He said he wants to pattern his tactics from Alvarez, a known counter-puncher, and hopes to be as powerful as the heavy-handed Golovkin.

"Makita niyo talaga, 'pag sumuntok siya (Golovkin), may kalalagyan talaga ang kalaban," said Marcial.

"Three years from now, four years from now, siguro baka ma-develop ko 'yung strength ko, 'yung tactics ko sa tulong ni Sir Sean pati sa mga coaches ko. Sana po 'yun po 'yung ma-acheve ko pagdating sa pro," he added.

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).