MANILA, Philippines -- The president of MP Promotions believes Eumir Marcial will surprise his opponents in the Tokyo Olympics with how much he has improved.
Sean Gibbons, who runs the outfit founded by Filipino ring icon and Senator Manny Pacquiao, feels that Marcial has progressed quite well since his arrival in the United States in October.
"It's a work in progress," Gibbons said during an appearance at the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday. "But everything he's doing, every day it's getting better."
"I think he's right where he needs to be," he added.
Marcial signed a professional contract with MP Promotions in July and flew to the United States in late September. Since then, he has been working at the Wild Card Gym with celebrated trainer Freddie Roach, regaining the fitness and conditioning that he lost during the long months of quarantine in the Philippines.
Aside from doing skills training and road work with trainer Marvin Somodio, Marcial has also sparred with other middleweights -- something that he is rarely able to do in the Philippines where boxers of his size and weight are scarce.
After having at least 13 sparring sessions, including over 10 rounds with title contender Gabe Rosado, Marcial is only getting better and better according to Gibbons.
"Every day in that gym, it's something new to work on," he said. "I'm excited every day I go to the gym, because Eumir I see just improves all the time."
"I think you know, after December and he really starts going at it, January, leading up to July, I think he'll just get better and better," he added.
Marcial's training, combined with a possible professional boxing debut later this month, should only make him better for the Tokyo Olympics where he is looking to earn the Philippines' first ever gold medal.
Gibbons has already been optimistic of Marcial's chances, but seeing the 25-year-old boxer's work in the gym has made him more confident.
"In four to five months, when he gets in the ring and his opponents, they have no clue what he's learning over here," said Gibbons. "All these guys from Ukraine, they really don't know what he's doing, the Kazakhstan guys."
"They are gonna be like, 'Wow, this isn't the same Eumir Marcial.' So I'm happy. I think his progress is great, I think everybody's good."
Marcial earned his ticket to the Olympics after ruling the Asia-Oceania qualifier last March in Jordan.
Shortly after, however, the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated quarantine restrictions in the Philippines, and Marcial was unable to train regularly due to the lockdown. The Tokyo Games was also postponed to July-August 2021 because of the global health crisis.