Marcial, ABAP continue discussion on Tokyo Olympics prep

Published March 28, 2021, 4:41 PM

by Waylon Galvez

Talks continue between the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) officials and Filipino boxer Eumir Marcial as far as preparation is concerned for the Tokyo Olympics.

ABAP Secretary-General Ed Picson said Sunday that they are still discussing to Marcial the possibility of him joining the national team training camp in Thailand.

“We’re still working out training arrangements with him,” Picson said in a message to Manila Bulletin.

Through an invitation by the Thai Boxing Federation, the national team left Manila for Bangkok last March 10 for a two-month training camp at the Koh Samui Island, where they will stay until April 10.

After that, the national team will go to Muak Lek, a district in the province of Saraburi. Similar setup as the one at the Koh Samui Island is expected with combination of sparring and tournaments against the Thai boxers.

Marcial is in Los Angeles, California where he is training with Hall of Fame coach Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Gym. He said in previous interviews that joining the training camp is part of his plans to be able to prepare with the national team coaching staff.

Marcial, who is under contract as a pro fighter with the MP (Manny Pacquiao) Promotions, said it is important to be in sync with the coaches as they try to map out strategy for the Tokyo Olympics.

Picson said that if the 25-year-old Marcial misses the training camp in Thailand, ABAP is hoping to see him join the national team in the ASBC meet on May 21-30 in New Delhi, which is part of the Tokyo Olympics preparation.

“Baka sa India on the last week of May, doon siya sumunod (Maybe in India in the last week of May, he’ll catch up there),” said Picson of Marcial, who qualified to the Summer Games via the Asian Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) held last year in Amman, Jordan.

Aside from Marcial, Irish Magno also earned a spot in the Tokyo Olympics via the same OQT while Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam clinched their respective spots via the world rankings after the last OQT were called off by the organizers.

Meanwhile, Marcial became that first Tokyo Olympics-bound Filipino athlete to receive vaccine for COVID-19.

MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons recently said that Marcial was inoculated with Pfizer vaccines, together with other fighters from their stable, including world champion Jerwin Ancajas.