The Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) hopes that Eumir Marcial will rejoin the national team soon in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics.
The middleweight sensation is still in the United States training under Freddie Roach. The federation, though, is trying to convince him to fly out and be with his fellow Filipino fighters, who are currently in Thailand for a training camp.
Those in that camp include Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecio, and Carlo Paalam, all of whom are bound for the Summer Games set on July 23-August 8.
“We’re trying to convince him na sumama sa team,” ABAP secretary-general Ed Picson told the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum.
“This is the Philippine team to the Olympics. Mas maganda sana kung kasama siya roon.”
The amiable executive said that Marcial’s camp wants him to stay in the States for his Olympic gear-up since he’s concerned about the lack of sparring partners, but ABAP has already told him that it won’t be much of a problem.
Marcial has been in the US since late last year as he began his pro career. He won his first fight over Andrew Whitfield last December.
“Kasi ang gusto ni Eumir, dun sa US siya mag-training. Sabi niya, kumpleto naman daw ang mga pangangailangan niya roon, and his big concern really are sparring partners,” Picson said in the session powered by Smart, with Upstream Media as official webcast partner, and presented by San Miguel Corp., Go For Gold, MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
“But we were telling Eumir there is no lack of sparring partners in Thailand. As a matter of fact, dalawa o tatlong ka-timbang niya ang nandoon na seventy-five, tapos meron ding dalawa o tatlong eighty-one.”
The federation very much prefers to have the pride of Zamboanga with the Nationals, believing that it could help him prepare even better.
“Hindi ko alam kung anong klaseng training meron siya sa US. Pero ang alam ko ka-spar niya roon mga pro, ang ka-spar niya rito mga Olympian or would-be Olympians. So ang istilo ng boxing ay Olympic style, not pro-style,” he said.
But then, ABAP understands that the 25-year-old has other commitments, and it remains committed to helping him. In fact, both camps are already working to send a coach to the States, as Marcial had requested.
“According to him, what he needs is a coach from ABAP. So we have already prepared to send one of our coaches there,” Picson said.
Picson, though, admitted that such has taken a snag due to the coach’s visa issues. But he assured that they are working on it.
Picson also shared that Marcial remains committed to representing the country in global meets, saying that the former youth world champ is keen on playing in the Asian Boxing Championships in India in May.
“We want him to come to Thailand so he can prepare of course for the Olympics and the Asian Championship. Kailangan nandun siya. And he has indicated he wants to participate,” he said.
“Whether he’s coming from the US or from Thailand, sabi niya gusto niya sumali diyan. Yun ang sabi niya.”