RECENTLY signed a deal as a professional boxer, Tokyo Olympics-bound fighter Eumir Felix Marcial said work is cut out for him as he juggles duties both as a pro and a national athlete but expressed readiness for it.
Now part of Manny Pacquiao (MP) Promotions after inking a six-year deal with the group, Mr. Marcial, 24, is now preparing to live his pro boxing dreams while keeping his focus on his gold medal quest at the rescheduled Olympic Games next year.
While the setup presents several challenges, Zamboanga native Mr. Marcial said he is fully aware of what he has gotten himself into and is determined to make it work.
“As a boxer, I’m always ready to train. I’m also excited to fight in the pros and to continue my training with my coaches for the Olympics. I’m ready any time,” said Mr. Marcial during his session at the online Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum last Tuesday where he was joined by MP Promotions President Sean Gibbons.
Mr. Marcial, who booked a spot in the Olympics last March at the 2020 Asia and Oceania Olympic boxing qualifiers in Jordan, said he is going to take it one step at a time in his pro boxing career, working his way up and eventually fighting the top names in the 160-lb division (welterweight).
Recognizing the unique situation Mr. Marcial is in as a “pro-Olympian fighter,” Mr. Gibbons reiterated their support for the former, especially since the contract Mr. Marcial signed with MP Promotions was built around the Filipino’s desire to still continue representing the country in various sporting tournaments like the Southeast Asian Games, Asian Games and the Olympics while parlaying his wares in the professional ranks.
The MP Promotions president said that the first year of Mr. Marcial’s contract would largely be dedicated to complementing his preparations for the Games.
They are currently working with the boxer for the best possible arrangement for his training, including considering Mr. Marcial’s request to bring over his coaches from the amateur ranks, like Don Abnett and Ronald Chavez, citing familiarity, as well as in consideration of the current situation with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We are working with Eumir and the federation (Alliance of Boxing Associations of the Philippines),” said Mr. Gibbons.
Mr. Gibbons went on to say that they do not see Mr. Marcial’s decision to turn professional getting in the way of what he wants to accomplish in the Olympics.
MP Promotions is looking to give Mr. Marcial a couple of fights before he plunges to exclusive Olympic training next year.
“Right now, we’re looking at possibly three fights. Hopefully, we do something in October and then take it from there,” said Mr. Gibbons. – Michael Angelo S. Murillo