WHEN FILIPINO boxer Eumir Felix Marcial failed to win his dream Olympic gold after settling for a bronze in the Tokyo Games, he made a vow of not stopping until he finally wins one.
And he is not about to renege on it now.
“Based on our many conversations, and the last was two weeks ago, he has committed to joining us in the Asian Games and pursue winning the Olympic gold,” said Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines Secretary-General Marcus Manalo in yesterday’s PSA Forum at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
Mr. Manalo, who was with ABAP President and Deputy Speaker Robbie Puno and Executive Assistant to the President Karina Picson in the weekly public service forum, however, said Mr. Marcial would only join the final stretch of the national team’s training camp leading up to the Hangzhou tilt.
“He has a pro-fight in August so he could only join us in Australia in September,” said Mr. Manalo.
The team that would also be headed by Tokyo silver winners Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam will fly to Patiala, India from July 28 to Aug. 6 and then will proceed to the Inspire Institute in Karnataka, India from Aug. 6 to 20.
From there, they will return to Manila and after 10 days, they will proceed to Canberra, Australia in the first two weeks of September for more camps.
Part of the 11-boxer squad includes Tokyo Olympian Irish Magno, Aira Villegas, Ian Clark Bautista, Rogen Ladon, Ronald Chavez, Jr., Mark Ashley Fajardo and John Marvin.
Mr. Marcial and the men’s team will seek to at least finish in the top two and clinch a spot to Paris while Ms. Petecio and the women’s squad will gun for a top four finish to make the cut.
Mr. Puno said they have set their sights in winning the Olympic gold.
“Everything that we do is geared towards winning the Olympic gold, that’s our marching order,” said the congressman from Antipolo.
Early this year, Mr. Marcial and his camp indicated that the Tokyo Games might have been his last sojourn. But it looked like the lure of Olympic glory may have changed Mr. Marcial’s mind. — Joey Villar