MANILA -- Prized amateur boxer Eumir Felix Marcial heaved a sigh of relief after being given assurance by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) that he will be supported all the way to the Olympics even if he turns professional.
Marcial, who is reportedly coming close to signing a lucrative deal with a promotional outfit, was initially bothered by a report that he'll be losing his monthly allowance from the PSC once he turns pro.
"Labis po ang aking pag-alala nang mabalitaan ko ang posibilidad na tanggalin ng gobyerno ang kanilang suporta sa aking hangad na manalo ng Olympic gold sakali man na ituloy ko ang pagpasok sa professional boxing," Marcial said in a statement.
But Marcial, one of the handful Filipinos who already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, was given assurance by PSC deputy executive director Atty. Guillermo Iroy and commissioner Ramon Fernandez that the support will continue as long as he prepares for the Tokyo Olympics.
"(Sila'y) nagbigay ng katiyakan ng kanilang 100% support hindi lang ng aking kampanya kung 'di ng lahat ng ating Olympians," he said.
Despite mulling his move to the pro ranks, Marcial maintained he is going to represent the Philippines in the quadrennial games as part of his promise to his father.
He added that he is not rushing with his decision to turn pro.
"Sa tulong po ng aking pamilya at mapagkakatiwalaang mga kaibigan, dalawang taon ko na po itong pinag-aaralan simula nang dumating ang unang offer noong 2018," he said.
"Sa una, naging makatotohanan po ako sa kanila sa pagsabi na nais ko muna tutukan ang pagkampanya sa Olympics. Ngunit kasabay pa din nito ay ang ginawa kong masusing pag-aaral sa mga nasabing offers."
Marcial previously said that turning professional ahead of the Olympics will give him more ring experience and elevate his game before he competes for an Olympic gold.
"Sa lahat nang nag-alok sa akin ng promotional at managerial deals, tinitiyak ko po na hinding-hindi po kayo naging ‘distraction’ sa paghahanda ko. Sa katunayan, isa kayo sa mga dahilan para mas maging pursigido ako na manalo sa Olympic qualifier," he said.
"Isa lang ang tinitiyak ko sa lahat, na ako ay lalaban sa Olympics at ibubuhos ang hanggang huling patak ng aking dugo at pawis makuha lang natin ang inaasam na Olympic gold."
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