The Eumir Marcial narrative just got complicated
The plot thickens in Eumir Felix Marcial’s quest for a gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics and his wish for a fruitful and profitable career after the Summer Games rescheduled for next year.
A crowd-pleasing middleweight tabbed by boxing scholars as a future ring marquee name, Marcial topped the Olympic qualifying tournament in Amman, Jordan, recently.
An authoritative source said the 5-foot-8, 24-year-old Zamboangeño will turn professional anytime soon by signing with one of several boxing managers tripping each other for his signature in the last month or so.
The source said the potential managers, including Hall of Famer and ex-Manny Pacquiao handler Shelly Finkel, manager of the year Keith Connolly and Sean Gibbons of Pacquiao’s promotions outfit “are supportive of Eumir’s Tokyo dream and all agreed they will not stand in the way and are even willing to state that condition in their contract.”
All of Marcial’s suitors are offering identical P10-million deals. Only the length of the deals and promotional partners reportedly differ.
Pro fighters, as long as they qualify and comply with the World Anti-Doping Agency doping code, are now allowed in the Olympics as a result of new boxing rules starting with the 2016 Rio Games.
Ricky Vargas, president of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (Abap), was to meet in person with Marcial after a recent video conference. But the meeting has not happened due to restrictions in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Without mincing any word, Vargas told Finkel and company not to distract his fighter so he (Marcial) and his dad could fulfill their dreams of winning an Olympic gold medal.
Although Eumir can still box as an Olympian, those courting him will offer money upfront upon signing. ”It all sounds hunky-dory but the truth is it messes his mind,” said Abap executive director Edgar Picson.
“So what Ricky is saying is allow Eumir to go to the Olympics first, because that’s what he needs to focus on. Then he can entertain all these offers … most likely a lot juicier then, too,” Picson explained.
“Eumir signs a managerial deal, gets to fight as a pro a few times and he still keeps his Olympic status,” the source said. “Where’s the distraction?”
We were unable to talk directly to Marcial before the deadline, but the source said the amateur ranks offer no bouts leading to Tokyo.
“That’s Eumir’s concern. It’s the reason why he wants to turn pro before the Olympics because there’s a tendency to get rusty.”
More on Marcial’s moves next time. INQ