TOKYO Olympics-bound boxer Eumir Felix Marcial made his dreams of becoming a professional fighter a reality, signing with Manny Pacquiao (MP) Promotions.

In an announcement made on Thursday, Mr. Marcial, 24, said that he has made the decision to sign a six-year promotional deal with the group of Filipino boxing legend Mr. Pacquiao as he believes under the promotion he would be taken care of and that he would continue to grow as a fighter.

No financial details were provided, however.

In choosing to sign with MP Promotions, Mr. Marcial said a key factor was the former’s full support for his desire to continue representing the country in international tournaments like the Southeast Asian Games, Asian Games and the Olympics.

Right now, International Boxing Association (AIBA) rules allow professionals to compete in events it sanctions, something the Zamboanga native wants to continue pursuing.

“I chose MP Promotions because it is 100% behind in my desire to continue fighting for the Philippines in international competitions as a national athlete,” said Mr. Marcial in Filipino.

The Pacquiao group was chosen by Mr. Marcial over those led by Americans Keith Connolly and Shelly Finkel, which expressed interest in signing him to a professional deal.

The Filipino fighter nonetheless thanked Messrs. Connolly and Finkel for showing interest in him and believing in his abilities.

Now with MP Promotions where he joins world champions Pedro Taduran, Johnriel Casimero and Jerwin Ancajas, Mr. Marcial looks to establish a solid career as a pro.

“Senator Manny is also a Filipino and he knows what boxers like me go through. He really wants to help fighters…” Mr. Marcial recently said as he spoke of eight-division world champion Pacquiao, who is also a sitting senator of the republic.

Apart from his loved ones, Mr. Marcial thanked the people that have become part of his boxing journey since the start, namely Alliance of Boxing Associations of the Philippines President Ricky Vargas, Secretary-General Ed Picson, national coaches Romeo Brin, Pat Gaspi, Boy and Roel Velasco, Elmer Pamisa and Ronald Chavez, sports psychologist Marcus Manalo, and performance analyst Jeff Pagaduan.

He also thanked lawyers Clint Aranas at Jeff Manuel David for assisting him and advising on various matters as he made the big move of turning pro.

Mr. Marcial booked a spot in the Olympic Games in Tokyo, now happening next year, at the 2020 Asia and Oceania Olympic boxing qualifiers in Amman, Jordan in March.

Despite inking a professional deal, the welterweight fighter reaffirmed his commitment to his Olympic quest and vowed to do everything he can to win gold. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo