THE WINNING FORMULA: Spotlight on Marc “Gwapo” Pagcaliwangan

This month, we are thrilled to get up-close-and-personal with professional super bantamweight boxer, Marc Pagcaliwangan, who recently celebrated his 9th win and still undefeated record. (9-0-1 with 7 KO’s)

We learn how he got started, how he trains, what he eats, what it takes to be pro-athlete and what his dreams are for the future. Enjoy! 🙂

1) What drew you to the sport of boxing?

I first got introduced to the sport of boxing at age six, when my cousin from the Philippines used to beat me up.

Then, at age 13, I watched the movie ALI, featuring Will Smith as Muhammad Ali and it changed my life.  It looked so incredible, I wanted to try it for myself. A short time later, my dad took me to a bar in London, where I watched Manny Pacquiao fight.  Even though he lost, I was so inspired by his athleticism that I knew I wanted to start training.  The rest is history.

2) How often do you train? What does your workout routine look like?

I typically train 6 days a week. Except this week, since I just came off of a fight, so I can rest for a week. But afterwards, I go right back to training every day except for Sunday.

I usually wake up first thing in the morning around 7am and go for a run. This can be anything from a longer run, to a shorter run to sprints – anywhere from 10K to 5K or sprints to rotate and change things up.

During the day, I’m either at the gym boxing with Sean & Glen or working in my Strength & Conditioning with Soc. In the evenings, I spar.

And twice per week, I train with Steve Molitor, 2-time World Champion in Kitchener to keep me sharp.

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3) What is your diet like?

It’s nothing fancy. Just no fast food and no sugary drinks. I try to eat lots of veggies, fish/beef/chicken and fruits with protein shakes & supplements. The key is to space out the meals properly.

I get a cheat day on Sundays.

4) Can you talk a bit about your coaching team? What do they help you with and what is their role?

I’ve got a good team around me.  For instance, Coach Sean Fulgencio will help me with boxing techniques; Coach Glen Erjas might work with me on cardio pad work; Coach Socrates Celestial works on my strength and conditioning; Steve Molitor will supplement Sean’s coaching by sharpening up my overall technique.

A fighter may enter the ring alone, but it takes a village.

5) How do you prepare for fights? Do you research your opponents?

Not really. I might watch YouTube videos of them if they are online, maybe find out if they are South Paw (left-handed) or Orthodox (right-handed) and see if they are fast, but that’s about it.

5) How do you mentally prepare for a fight?

I tend to get cranky right before a fight when I’m cutting weight. But I like to be alone to mentally prepare and stay by myself. I like to meditate or listen to music to visualize or plan out how the fight will go in my mind.

6) How important do you think mental strength is compared to physical strength?

Very important. You can be in the best shape of your life but if you are not mentally tough, you won’t make it.

7) Your current record is UNDEFEATED – Do you feel added pressure to constantly be maintaining this impressive record?

Not really. When I was first going through my KO (knock out) streak, I felt a bit pressured to keep knocking guys out. But now the pressure is gone and I just want to keep winning, no matter what.

So there is no pressure. I just feel excited. I can’t wait to get in the ring.

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8) What is the biggest difference between an amateur boxer vs. a professional boxer?

Besides the obvious differences like amateurs having to wear a shirt & headgear or the fact that you don’t get paid, it really comes down to one thing:

It’s a lifestyle, a mentality. As a professional, boxing is MY JOB. I get up every day and train, just like you would if you worked 9-to-5 at a job. I can’t take a break or not do it because I don’t feel like it. So I’m always in shape.

9) What changes do you see in the sport in the future, let’s say in the next 10 years?

Boxing is the “sweet science”, as they say. It will never die. And now, there are more boxers than ever, more athletes achieving higher profiles and elevating the sport.

10) What are your other hobbies besides boxing?

I’m a simple guy.  When I’m not training, I just like to spend time with my girlfriend or my family & friends. Just relaxing.

11) What do you want to accomplish in the future, within the next 5 years?

I want to be a World Champion and to be well-known in boxing. I will work as long as it takes to get me to my goal. And now, I can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

12) Your nickname, “GWAPO” – What does it mean?

It means “handsome” in Filipino, but I swear, I didn’t give that name to myself. 🙂

At the end our interview, I wanted to know what was Marc’s secret to success?

The winning formula is very simple and clearly written on his arm:

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There is no secret to success.  There is only HARD WORK & DEDICATION.

Thank you to Marc for your time and for being a great example for us all!

Connect with Marc on Instagram: @Team_Gwapo_ Boxing

ARTICLE BY: Alice Soon @AliceSoon1