Tokyo 2020 Olympics-bound Eumir Marcial is set to return to amateur boxing action a little over two months before the world’s biggest global sports showpiece.
According to Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) secretary-general Ed Picson, the Filipino pug is committed to joining the Asian Elite Championships in Dubai on May 21 to June 1.
While Marcial returned to his hometown in Zamboanga after training in Los Angeles in a professional setting since October 2020, the three other boxers who qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam – are training at the Thailand National Sports Center in Muaklek since March 2021.
The three boxers will not be able to participate in the Dubai tournament because of the quarantine protocols that they have to go through.
Instead, 7 boxers – Josie Gabuco, Maricel dela Torre, Mark Lester Durens, Marvin Tabamo, Junmilardo Ogayre, Jere Samuel dela Cruz and John Paul Panuayan – will be joining the continental event.
In the weekly Philippine Sportswriter’s Association online forum on Tuesday, May 11, ABAP assured that Marcial will train with the rest of the team in Thailand after the Asian Elite tournament.
“We’re happy he said he’s going to Thailand. We appreciate that. But we’re hoping that he’s doing well in Zamboanga where he’s training under (ABAP) coach Jerson Nietes and sparring with his cousin,” said Picson.
Picson added, “In Thailand he can spar with Olympic boxers and not professional boxers. Sana nga nasa Thailand na siya. (We wished he was in Thailand already).
“He previously said he wants to go to Dubai on his own because his manager knows people there. But now he’s saying he will travel with the team,” Picson went on to say.
Australian consultant Don Abnett is leading the Thailand training camp and is joined by national coaches Boy Velasco and Ronald Chavez. – Rappler.com