Officials encourage Marcial to focus on Olympics prep

Published May 11, 2021, 4:16 PM

by Waylon Galvez

Eumir Marcial

With less than 10 weeks before the Tokyo Olympics, top officials from amateur boxing have urged Eumir Marcial to focus on his training in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics.

Not on giving statements based on unfounded claims.

Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) commissioner Ramon Fernandez denied Marcial’s declaration that the government has not been supporting him since he decided to leave for the US last October.

“As far as the PSC is concerned, tuluy-tuluy ang allowance niya maski nag-professional na siya (he continues to receive his allowance even when he turned professional,” Fernandez said Tuesday, May 11,2021 during the online PSA Forum.

“He’s also getting his allowance from the Air Force… mali naman yata yun (I guess it’s wrong). Nasa lineup siya ng (He’s in the lineup of) ABAP (Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines), so it’s incumbent upon us to give allowance dahil nasa lineup siya (because he is in the lineup).”

Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines (ABAP) secretary-general Ed Picson also said that officials of the federation, led by its president Ricky Vargas, were also surprised with the statements of Marcial.

In an interview with former PBA Commissioner Noli Eala, Power & Play in One PH over CIGNAL TV last Saturday, Marcial claimed that he hasn’t been receiving support from the government.

Marcial decided to turn professional when he signed a deal with the MP Promotions of boxing legend and Senator Manny Pacquiao.

He arrived in the US last October 2020 and trained under Hall of Fame coach Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, California. In his first fight as a pro last December 16, he earned a unanimous decision victory against American Andrew Whitfield at the Microsoft Theater in L.A.

Marcial returned from the US last April 20, and has been training in his home province in Zamboanga City with Gerson Nietes, a cousin of boxing champion Donnie Nietes, at the Zamboanga Valientes Boxing Gym of Junie Navarro.

As a procedure, only the members of the national team – athletes, coaches and consultants – endorsed by its national sports association would get their monthly allowances from the government sports agency.

“We have been communicating with Eumir… we have been taken aback by his statements na walang suporta (that there’s no support). It’s completely untrue,” said Picson.

“Ang problema lang medyo naguguluhan yata siya sa role niya (Problem I think is that he’s confused with his role) as a professional and as a national athlete. We’ve been giving him advice, but ang (my) feeling ko madaming nagbibigay sa kanya ng advice (a lot of people are giving him advices).”

Both officials, however, agree that it’s not too late for Marcial, who they encourage to focus on training for the Tokyo Olympics.

“We’re happy that he says he’s going to Thailand after Dubai (for the ASBC tournament this month). It’s better than nothing. I hope he can catch up. That has been our message to Eumir, to train with the Olympics style of boxers and trainers,” said Picson.

“We know that professional boxing is good, but we’re talking about amateur or Olympics style boxing here. He should be training in this kind of environment.”

As for Fernandez, the PSC – led by its chairman Butch Ramirez will continue to support Marcial as long as he is on the ABAP list of boxers.

“The PSC support will always be there, it’s been there since the beginning… how much more now he’s in the Olympics. He really has to focus more on what he wants to achieve in the Olympics,” said Fernandez.

“He better shape up and focus on the goal on what he wants for himself.”