Retired eight-division world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao personally congratulated Paris Olympic-bound fighter Eumir Felix Marcial for winning a silver medal in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
Not only did Marcial become the first Filipino boxer to qualify for the Paris Games after reaching the Asiad final—an Olympic continental qualifier, but the 28-year-old boxer from Zamboanga City also received boxing tips from Pacquiao during their meeting at Forbes Park in Makati City last Friday.
“He [Marcial] was congratulated by the Senator personally after bagging a silver medal in the Asian Games and making it to the Olympics for the second time,” said international matchmaker Sean Gibbons. “The living legend Pacquiao was so excited to see him; he also gave Eumir some boxing tips.”
But there’s a bigger story.
The 44-year-old future hall of famer, according to Gibbons, is planning to set up a pro fight in an undetermined venue in Manila for Marcial—one of Marcial’s possible two scheduled pro bouts—before competing in the Paris Olympics from July 26 to August 11.
“The Asiad silver medalist, Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist just met with Manny Pacquiao, he presented him the silver medal, and the big news was the senator wants to do a fight here in Manila, maybe in February to be promoted by us,” Gibbons added.
Marcial, who has a 4-0 win-loss record with two knockouts, expressed excitement about fighting in front of his hometown, noting that the last time he fought in Manila was in the 2019 Philippines 30th Southeast Asian Games when he won the gold in the middleweight class.
“It definitely excites me to hear it from the Senator himself that he wanted to arrange a fight here for me under his promotion,” Marcial said. “There are many Filipinos who would like to see me fight here. I’m begging for the support of my fellow Filipinos.”
Marcial will undoubtedly be the main event bout of the fight card arranged by Gibbons later on, but the training of the four-time Southeast Asian Games middleweight king will definitely stay in the United States.
“My training stays in the United States for sure because that’s the only ideal place to train not only for my pro bouts but also for my Olympic campaign,” added Marcial. “I will just return to Manila two weeks before the fight if it’s officially announced.”