Asian Games or bust for Eumir Marcial, who will focus on pros if he fails to book Olympic berth
Eumir Marcial will take just one shot at his golden Olympic dream.
And if he fails to qualify outright for the Paris Olympics via the Asian Games in China, he will focus fully on his professional career.
“If I can’t make it, it’s not really meant for me, so I’ll just be focusing on my professional career. I will no longer explore any qualifying avenues after the Asian Games,’’ said the 27-year-old pride of Zamboanga City.
“If I make it, I will do my very best to surpass the (Olympic) bronze that I got in (the 2021) Tokyo (Olympics),’’ said Marcial, the country’s power-punching middleweight boxer.
The Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, from Sept. 23 to Oct.8 is also an Olympic qualifier for boxing.
Since his weight class (75kg) has been expunged from the coming Olympic boxing program, Marcial is angling to fight in a heavier division at 81kg.
“It’s either I go up at 81kg or go down at 71kg. I am more comfortable at 81kg because that’s my walking weight, but I expect stronger fighters in that weight class,’’ said the Asian Games bronze medalist who shifted to professional prizefighting following a colorful amateur career.
Marcial, undefeated in four professional fights, including two by way of knockouts, already notified the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines and informed top amateur boxing officials that he would mostly train in the United States prior to the Asian Games.
Marcial said he would join the national team a few weeks before the continental meet, but has declined to participate in the team’s camp on July 28 to August 20 in India.
He’s also uncertain if he could travel with them to another camp in Canberra, Australia, two weeks before the Hangzhou meet for the final stage of the team’s preparations.
“`I think what’s important is that I have several sparring partners to further improve my skills aside from working on my mental toughness and strengthening my body,’’ said Marcial. “I’ll be better if I train in the US.’’
The four-time Southeast Asian Games champion is scheduled to fight late August or early September in the States with the help of international matchmaker Sean Gibbons.
“I need bigger guys to spar with, and I can’t find it elsewhere but in the US,’’ said Marcial.