MANILA, Philippines -- Filipino boxer Eumir Marcial hopes to have his coaches from the Philippine national team when he begins training in the United States as a professional.
One of two Filipino boxers assured of an Olympic spot along with Irish Magno, Marcial turned professional last week when he signed with Senator Manny Pacquiao's MP Promotions. Promoter Sean Gibbons plans for Marcial to fight three times as a professional, before focusing on his preparation for the Tokyo Games.
Marcial's wish is to keep working with his coaches from the Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines (ABAP), even as a pro fighter.
"Gusto ko pa rin kasi makasama ko ma-train ang mga coaches ko, si coach Ronald Chavez and coach Don Abnett," he said during Tuesday's Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum. "'Yun pa rin ang gusto ko makasama dito."
"Sila pa rin ang gusto ko makasama, kasi siyempre, Olympics pa rin 'yung pinaghahandaan natin," he explained. "'Yun ang gusto kong makasamang mga coach, kasi amateur pa rin ang lalaruin natin doon."
"Gusto ko ma-maintain ang stylel ko, kung paano maglaro sa amateur. So hopefully, makasama ko po 'yung mga coaches ko."
Gibbons, the president of MP Promotions, assures there will be no issues with working with the ABAP coaches. He plans for Marcial to train in Los Angeles, where he can spar with boxers his size. Marcial has told Gibbons that he rarely had the opportunity to train with boxers of the same weight class, even when he was preparing for the Olympic qualifiers or the world championships.
"They (ABAP coaches) have done a good job so far," Gibbons said. "We just need to add another guy to the team, whoever that may be."
"The Los Angeles area, as a whole, is the best place to train," he also said. "So many fighters from every nationality are in all the gyms there. So that's the real key."
As for the coach whom they can add to Marcial's team, Gibbons has an idea.
"We're gonna go to (Los Angeles), try a few trainers, hopefully Freddie would be a great fit of course," he said, referring to legendary boxing trainer Freddie Roach.
"I mean, you look at the history, he's done a few good things with Filipino fighters, so I think there's a good track record there," he added.
Roach, 60, was the longtime trainer of Pacquiao, helping the Filipino icon win world titles in eight different weight divisions -- a feat that has yet to be repeated in the sport.
Regardless of who they add to the team, Gibbons assured that Marcial will be a major part of the decision-making process.
"One of the big keys in preparation for Tokyo is to get him into the US on at least a few occasions, a couple of months at a time to prepare. Bring his coaches, work with whatever coach we work with," said Gibbons.
"But again, a lot of this too, we're in discussions with Eumir. I always let him be part of the decision, because he knows what's best also."
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