By Nick Giongco
How do you like the idea of world welterweight champion and Sen. Manny Pacquiao signing up Tokyo Olympics gold medal bet Eumir Felix Marcial to a promotional contract?
Sounds great, isn’t it?
Well, Pacquiao told the Manila Bulletin on Black Saturday that he has been keeping an eye on the 24-year-old middleweight.
“Tell him to fight for the country in the Olympics and we’ll work together when he decides to turn professional,” said Pacquiao, who owns MP Promotions, the outfit that also handles the affairs of the country’s three other world champions.
Currently, MP Promotions has control over Jerwin Ancajas, John Riel Casimero and Pedro Taduran, the Philippines’ reigning world champions.
The past year, MP Promotions also gave title opportunities to a number of Filipino world title challengers. When boxing resumes after the COVID-19 epidemic, several Filipino fighters are on line to vie for honors.
MP Promotion president Sean Gibbons is in charge of all the fighters under Pacquiao’s wings.
“He can be assured that I will do everything to look after his welfare and make him a world champion,” added Pacquiao.
Marcial has been approached by US boxing groups and one from the UK, including New Yorker Shelly Finkel, who was Pacquiao’s manager for two fights in 2006.
Marcial hasn’t committed to anyone but is planning to enter the pro ranks leaving the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) deeply disturbed that the hard-hitter might go straight into the pros without fighting in the Olympics.
ABAP president Ricky Vargas, who is backed by telecom tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan, has come out with a statement appealing that Marcial be allowed to fulfill his Olympic aspirations.
With Pacquiao expressing his thoughts, Vargas can now heave a sigh of relief.