LEST RISKING making snap decisions that could be detrimental to his career moving forward, Tokyo Olympics-bound boxer Eumir Felix Marcial is said to have agreed to continue discussions with the Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines (ABAP) about his future plans, the national sports association for the sport said.
The main issue at the center of it is whether to turn professional now, especially since a lot of boxing promotions are reportedly interested in signing him up to lucrative deals.
Other quarters have also highlighted that doing so now would not necessarily affect the standing of Mr. Marcial in the Olympics as the Games already allows pros to compete in the boxing events, and, hence, are urging him to make the jump.
Zamboanga native Marcial, 24, has made it known that turning pro is definitely part of his plans albeit he is also focused on his Olympic quest which has been pushed back after organizers of the Tokyo Games moved to postpone the quadrennial sporting event next year because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
For ABAP, the national association for boxing, it said that it fully supports the plans of Mr. Marcial to turn pro but wants the latter to carefully assess his next moves, especially in light of the current situation where COVID-19 has rendered different affairs with much uncertainty.
“We made it clear to him (Marcial) that ABAP will never stand in the way of opportunities for his personal financial stability. On the contrary, we have always been helpful in that regard for the past nine years that he has been with us,” said ABAP president Ricky Vargas in statement released last week.
Mr. Vargas shared that they had a videoconference with Mr. Marcial, along with ABAP secretary-general Ed Picson and sports psychologist Marcus Manalo.
“We discussed many other things and the conversation was light and cordial. We agreed that we would sit down and talk things over face-to-face as soon as the current situation clears,” said Mr. Vargas.
Adding, “It was decided that with the present uncertainty in everyone’s lives, it would be foolhardy to make snap decisions that could impact long-range plans.”
The ABAP went on to say that the boxer gave his word that he would defer any decision until said meeting has occurred.
Mr. Marcial booked a spot in the Tokyo Games after barging into the semifinals of the 2020 Asia and Oceania Olympic boxing qualifiers in Amman, Jordan, in March.
He did not stop there, eventually winning the gold medal in the middleweight division by defeating Abilkhan Amankhul of Kazakhstan in their gold medal match, making it a double celebration for Mr. Marcial in the qualifiers.
Mr. Marcial became the third Filipino athlete who booked a spot in the Olympics, joining pole-vaulter EJ Obiena and gymnast Carlos Yulo, who both qualified for the Games last year.
He was later joined by teammate Irish Magno to earn a ticket after winning her box-off in the flyweight division of the qualifiers. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo