Abap wants Marcial in training bubble, Thai boot camp
For Eumir Felix Marcial, the country’s brightest hope for an elusive Olympic gold medal, he’s already getting the training he needs in the United States.
For the Alliance of Boxing Associations in the Philippines (Abap), Marcial would be better off joining the national team here before flying to Thailand for a training camp.
And with the Tokyo Olympics less than five months from kicking off, there is an urgency to bridge the gap between the differences in opinion.
“We’re in discussion with him and his pro managers to come to a common decision and how to move forward,” said Abap executive director Ed Picson.Picson, however, didn’t mention if the 25-year-old middleweight will be sanctioned if he opts not to join Team Philippines. He also did not comment on whether the association will give Marcial the freedom to decide what’s best for him.
Trained by RoachIn the US, Marcial is being handled by Hall-of-Fame trainer Freddie Roach. He also appears comfortable living there for the past several months now with a steady streams of spar mates to keep him battle-ready.But training with his teammates will give him a chance to return to Olympic-style fighting, especially since Marcial has already fought in the pro ranks.
Already in Abap’s training camp are fellow Olympic qualifier Irish Magno and other aspirants like current world champion Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam, Rogen Ladon, Ian Clark Bautista, Mario Fernandez and Aira Villegas.The PH team has been training inside a bio-safe facility in Calamba, Laguna province, arranged by the Philippine Sports Commission and the Abap.
While being in the national team payroll, Marcial last July signed a pro contract with MP (Manny Pacquiao) Promotions which brought him out to the US soon after.
Even though he’s training as a pro, Marcial pledged to give his full devotion to preparing for the Olympics which, according to him, remains his top priority.A source in the boxer’s camp said Marcial wants to have one more fight in the pros probably this April and then focus on training camp until the Tokyo Games in July.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.