Eumir Marcial is embarking on a reverse journey to boxing greatness.
He’s turning pro first before chasing the Olympic gold.
After a sterling amateur career, Marcial turned professional on Thursday, July 16, as he hooked up with MP Promotions of Senator Manny Pacquiao.
The usual path is for boxers to pursue their Olympic dream first before hitting pay dirt.
Most notable among those who took this path is Vasyl Lomachenko, who won the golds in 2008 Being and 2012 London Olympics and is now a three-division world champion and considered among the best pound-for-pound.
Retired Sugar Ray Leonard was a 1976 Olympic gold medalist and Oscar de la Hoya a 1992 Olympic gold medalist, before becoming multiple world champions.
The late Muhammad Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, was the 1960 Olympic light heavyweight champion and widely touted as the greatest boxer of all time.
Other Olympic champions who duplicated the feat in the pro ranks include Michael Spinks, Joe Frazier, Lennox Lewis, Joel Casamayor, Wladimir Klitscho, and Pernell Whitaker.
In a statement posted on Facebook, Marcial said he chose MP Promotions over other foreign entities that offered lucrative deals because of Pacquiao’s commitment to allow him to represent the country in future Southeast Asian Games, Asian Games, and the Olympics.
According to Marcial, gold medalist in the 2011 World in Junior Boxing Championships in Astana, Kazakstan, it was even stipulated in the six-year contract he signed that MP Promotions won’t stand in the way whenever he’s called for national team duty.
Of course, Marcial was influenced by the guidance Pacquiao, the world’s only eight-division champion could offer in his boxing career. He mentioned Pacquiao and MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons as instrumental to the success of current Filipino world champions Pedro Taduran (IBF minimum weight), Johnriel Casimero (WBO bantamweight), and Jerwin Ancajas (IBF super flyweight).
Marcial also thanked his ABAP (Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines) family led by president Ricky Vargas, secretary general Ed Picson, and coaches Romeo Brin, Pat Gaspi, Boy and Roel Velasco, Elmer Pamisa, sports psychologist Marcus Manalo and performance analyst Jeff Pagaduan.
Vargas said: “He is in good hands with Sen. Pacquiao. The ABAP is all out in support of his quest for the Olympic medal. He is always welcome to our training camp and if he needs any help his ABAP family and coaches will be there for him always. I’m thankful for his commitment to train hard and represent our country in the Olympics.”
Also cited by Marcial were lawyers Clint Aranas and Jeff Manuel David for their advice regarding his potential tax obligations and business dealings and American managers Keith Connolly and Shelly Finkel for their trust in his abilities.
With his financial worries taken cared of, Marcial will focus on his professional debut which could happen before the year ends, when travel restrictions and social distancing measures brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic ease up.
He draws inspiration from fiancee Princess Galarpe, his siblings and parents Carmelita and Eulalio.
Marcial was supposed to don the national colors in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but it got moved to 2021 following the coronavirus scourge.
With MP Promotions backing him and ABAP supporting him, Marcial’s ring travel from hereon will be smoother, easier, and faster.
Whether he reaches his pro goal first or attain his Olympic dream first doesn’t really matter.
If he can achieve both, so much the better. – Rappler.com