Status cleared, Marcial moves forward with Olympic, pro bids
MANILA, Philippines — There’s no stopping Eumir Marcial from pursuing his goals: Be a pro and chase that elusive Olympic gold.
Reacting to a clarification that the Philippine Sports Commission will continue supporting him as a national athlete even if he sheds his amateur status, Marcial said he can now pour his focus solely on boxing and reiterated that he seeks nothing more than support from sports officials.
“I am not asking anything else from anyone,” Marcial told the Inquirer in Filipino on Monday. “I’m not asking to be treated as someone special.”
“In fact, I’ll do anything asked of me. I will train with my teammates at the national team, doing the same things they will do. I will eat the same food and follow the same program.”
Marcial also released a statement thanking the PSC for easing his worry over his status as an amateur.
There were initial concerns raised that by turning pro, Marcial would no longer be entitled to his PSC allowances. But the PSC corrected that Sunday night with commissioner Mon Fernandez saying Marcial will still be listed as a national athlete.
“I was worried that by turning pro, I would lose the support of the government in my bid to win an Olympic gold medal,” Marcial said in the statement released Monday.
Marcial said he was elated with the assurance that the PSC would provide “100 percent support” to both his Olympic and professional bids.
Marcial is currently on the verge of signing his first pro contract with sources telling the Inquirer that MP Promotions of Sen. Manny Pacquiao is a runaway leader to land his signature.
A source said the deal is “90 percent completed,” with only minor wrinkles to be ironed out.
MP Promotions would be a perfect outfit for Marcial with Pacquiao, the Filipino ring icon and boxing’s only eight-division champion, very vocal about supporting Marcial’s Olympic bid.
The Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines (Abap), the sport’s governing body, also welcomed the clarification by the PSC on Marcial’s status.
“This is the happy compromise we were looking for and now that PSC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez and Deputy Executive Director Guillermo Iroy Jr. have reportedly come out with the assurance, we are relieved. We thank Comm Mon and Atty Iroy for stepping up to the plate for Eumir,” Abap secretary general Ed Picson said in a statement released to media offices.
“I am happy for Eumir. Now there is no more hindrance for his desire to turn professional. We wish him the best and if Eumir is willing and able when the Olympics come around, we will gladly welcome him to the lineup,” said Abap chief Ricky Vargas.
Marcial reiterated on Monday that the Olympics will always be his No. 1 priority even as a pro.
“The rules of international boxing and the International Olympic Committee allow pros to compete in the Olympics. That means I can fulfill both my goals. But my top priority will always be representing the country in Tokyo,” Marcial said. “Nothing has changed.”
The Olympics, originally scheduled to start next month, was moved to July next year due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that froze sports globally.
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