KEY POINTS

  • Freddi Roach is impressed with the power and talent of Eumir Marcial, dubbed as the "Next Manny Pacquiao"
  • The Hall of Fame trainer hopes Marcial can win his first world title
  • Marcial is motivated by his brother's untimely death

Hall of Fame boxing trainer Freddie Roach has high hopes for Eumir Felix Marcial, the Filipino boxing sensation dubbed as the “Next Manny Pacquiao.”

After an impressive run in the amateur ranks, Marcial took a major step closer to his goal when he officially signed  a six-year promotional deal with Pacquiao’s MP Promotions.

Marcial is now training under the tutelage of world-class trainer Roach, who has recently acknowledged his potential.

Despite being optimistic about Marcial’s future, Roach admitted that Marcial's path to becoming a world champion in the pro ranks wouldn’t be as easy as it sounds.

“We did four rounds of mitts,” Roach said of Marcial in a telephone interview with The Manila Times on Friday . “Eumir worked on the heavy bag and the speed bag. He’s got a lot of power and very talented!”

“But we have a lot of work to do. Preparing for the Olympics after he turns professional is an unusual situation. But I really hope we can be the first to bring a world title [in his division] and Olympic gold to the Philippines. That would be very special.”

Roach acknowledges the similarities between Pacquiao and Marcial, but he has identified one major difference.

“There is one difference, though, between my first look at Manny and Eumir,” the renowned trainer explained. “Manny was fighting at 122 pounds then, while Eumir will be starting at 160. That’s quite a difference!”

Meanwhile, Marcial would have to take a break in his world title aspirations for a while as he is now grieving the passing of his elder brother, Eliver, who died on Saturday.

While the cause of the death is still unclear, reports revealed that Eliver had difficulties in breathing moments before collapsing.

The 2019 AIBA World Championships silver medalist was training in Los Angeles when he learned about the devastating news.

A saddened Marcial recently told SCMP that his brother’s untimely death has motivated him to work harder.

“My older brother even talked to Princess [Eumir’s fiancée] last night. He said I wish I could get the Olympic gold and then I will be a world champion,” Marcial recalled. 

“I’m just here first because there is nothing I can do about what happened. I became even more inspired by my brother. This is also what he wants. I will be ready for the Olympics.”

Freddie Roach Manny Pacquiao Manny Pacquiao, shown with Freddie Roach, has won his last three fights by unanimous decision. Photo: Reuters