MANILA - With just three days to go before he makes his debut as a professional boxer, Eumir Marcial is feeling good and believes he's already in top condition.
Marcial will take on American Andrew Whitfield in a four-round middleweight bout on December 16 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles (December 17 in Manila).
"'Yung training, sobrang ganda at masasabi ko, kundisyon tayo pagdating sa laban," Marcial said confidently during an appearance on "Power and Play" with former PBA Commissioner Noli Eala on Saturday.
Marcial has been training with famed boxing coach Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles. It's all part of his preparation for the Tokyo Olympics next year, with the bout against Whitfield just the latest step in his program.
To prepare for the Whitfield fight, Marcial has been sparring with different boxers who show up at Roach's gym. On Saturday, he reported that he sparred six rounds with two different boxers.
"And yung training ko, 'yung strength and conditioning ko with Justine Fortune, so maganda po 'yung preparation natin," he added.
Sean Gibbons, the president of MP Promotions who brought Marcial to LA, believes Whitfield is an excellent opponent for the young Filipino boxer in his professional debut.
Whitfield, 29, will bring a 3-1 win-loss record to the fight. According to Gibbons, he also has some experience in mixed martial arts and trained at the Mayweather Gym in Las Vegas.
"He's just a guy that hopefully will give Eumir a little test," said Gibbons. "We'll see what happens on the 16th, but I think, Whitfield will bring a lot of fire to the fight. He's coming to win, he's a tough guy, but I think Eumir is just a little better-skilled, when it comes down to it."
Marcial says he's been watching some videos of Whitfield's old fights, and plans to make the most of his physical advantages against the shorter American.
Should he be successful against Whitfield, Marcial will "move on to a little better competition," said Gibbons. The promoter stressed that this will serve to prepare the 25-year-old Filipino for the Tokyo Games, where Marcial hopes to deliver a gold medal for the Philippines.
"All of these kinda just gives a little dressing for the real big one and that's Tokyo," Gibbons explained.
"We just wanna get a few professional bouts under his belt, but really that training he's getting at Freddie's everyday, that competition's better than anybody he's ever gonna fight for a while," he added. "So, that's where he's really putting in the work and learning."