Eumir Marcial will now fully concentrate on his Olympic gold medal dream following the cancellation of his fifth professional fight, which was scheduled for later this month.
This information was conveyed by Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino on Friday.
Tolentino stated, “Eumir will be returning home from the US as soon as possible to join the national boxing team and initiate the process for his Australian visa.”
He was referring to Marcial’s participation in the national team training camp, commencing on September 1 in Canberra.
Marcial’s fight, initially set for August, was rescheduled for September, which coincides with the Hangzhou Asian Games scheduled from September 23 to October 8.
Tolentino played a role in securing Marcial’s availability for the Asian Games—a Paris Olympics qualifier—by negotiating with his promotion company MP Promotions.
The president of MP Promotions, Sean Gibbons, agreed to cover Marcial’s training expenses for his fifth supposed pro fight in the US, which was then waived. Professional boxers typically have their training expenses deducted from their guaranteed fight purse.
“Sean [Gibbons] promptly concurred that Marcial should focus on Hangzhou and pursue his Olympic dream,” stated Tolentino.
However, the campaign in Hangzhou will prove to be challenging for Marcial.
Firstly, he will compete in the 81 kg (light heavyweight) category because the 71 kg class (middleweight), in which he secured a bronze medal in Tokyo, was removed from the Hangzhou program.
Secondly, he must advance to the final match, as it was decreed that only the boxing finalists in Hangzhou will qualify for Paris. The traditional semifinals cutoff is no longer applicable.
Marcial acknowledges the difficulties and has pledged to give his all for his Olympic aspiration.
“It’s a now-or-never situation,” affirmed the 27-year-old boxer from Zamboanga City, who remains undefeated in four professional fights.