(UPDATED) Eumir Marcial shone in his first professional boxing match, claiming a comfortable decision victory over American boxer Andrew Whitfield on Wednesday night at the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles (Thursday morning in Manila).
The 25-year-old Marcial showcased his punching power and displayed a willingness to slug it out with the gritty Whitfield. Despite not getting a stoppage, Marcial's dominance was clear as his power shots caused Whitfield's right eye to swell by the second round, and was almost completely closed by the third.
The Filipino won with scores of 40-36 across the board, giving him a 1-0 record. Whitfield, who fights out of Idaho, dropped to 3-2 in his boxing career.
Both fighters came out swinging to start the match, with Whitfield showing his intent as he caught Marcial with a right hand in the first round. But Marcial shook it off easily and found Whitfield's head to be an easy target, causing a welt under the American's right eye after the opener.
Marcial looked more comfortable as the fight progressed, slipping past Whitfield's punches while repeatedly teeing off on his opponent's head and landing clear blows to the body. The young Filipino landed 120 of the 310 punches that he threw in the fight, while Whitfield managed just 46 punches after throwing 273.
For Marcial, it was an appropriate birthday gift to his promoter, Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao who is celebrating his 42nd birthday Thursday.
Marcial expects to fight at least once more as a professional, as he gears up to represent the Philippines in the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
The winner of the Asia-Oceania qualifiers back in March, Marcial is tipped to be a contender in the middleweight division in the Summer Games and hopes to deliver the Philippines' first ever gold in the Olympics.