Eumir Marcial was happy to claim a victory in his professional debut, a four-rounder against Andrew Whitfield of the US on Wednesday night at the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles (Thursday morning in Manila).
Just like in the amateurs, the heavy-hitting Marcial was his usual self, smothering Whitfield with big punches, and closing the American's right eye in the second round.
All three judges, Don De Verges, Ron Scott Stevens and Damian Walton, scored the bout 40-36 for Marcial.
But the Filipino middleweight, who is set to compete in next year's Tokyo Olympics, admitted there is still room for improvement.
“Unang round pa lang tinamaan ako, naramdaman ko 'yung suntok niya kasi mas manipis ang gloves sa pro na 10oz. Sa amateur kasi 12oz ang gamit namin,” said Marcial.
He admitted he had to take some punches from Whitfield, who is an experienced MMA fighter, to respond with his own.
“Siguro talagang pinaghandaan niya ako kasi three months ago, alam na niya 'yung laban," said Marcial. "At saka siguro matagal ako walang training dahil sa pandemic kaya struggle din ako na makuha 'yung tamang kondisyon.”
Marcial is glad he has already started training in the US through the help of MP Promotions.
The bout also gave him a strong opponent, which helped him with his preparation for the Olympics.
“At least hindi ako binigyan ng kalaban na hihiga na lang. Crucial din na makakuha ng sparmates kasi wala ako sparring last two weeks dahil gusto ng mga mag-sparring sa akin ay may bayad na,” he said.
Marcial plans to return to training after a week.
“Sinabihan na ako ni Sir Sean (Gibbons) kung gusto ko muna magbakasyon pero sabi ko one week lang pahinga ko training na agad ako. Kailangan ko pa ng maraming experience kaya tuloy-tuloy na para mas lalong gumanda tsansa natin sa Olympics,” he said.