MANILA, Philippines -- It looks like Olympic-bound boxer Eumir Marcial is leaning towards signing with Manny Pacquiao's MP Promotions as he begins to navigate his professional career.
Marcial is one of two Filipino boxers, along with Irish Magno, who have qualified for next year's Tokyo Olympics. Even before he competes in the Summer Games, however, Marcial is already thinking of turning professional.
The three-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist has been courted by several promotional companies, but in a recent appearance on "The Hit List" podcast, he admitted that he was most impressed by MP Promotions -- especially after a conversation with Pacquiao himself.
"Sa akin sir, siguro maganda po kasi nakausap ko si Senator eh," he revealed. "Siyempre, sa MP po ako, kasi alam ko nandiyan si Senator Pacquiao na tinutulungan po 'yung mga boksingero na umangat din sa kahirapan at maabot 'yung mga pangarap."
Marcial has said in a previous interview that he looks up to Pacquiao, an eight-division world champion and a former pound-for-pound king who continues to compete even as he also serves as a senator.
His conversation with Pacquiao was reassuring to the 24-year-old Marcial.
"Sabi niya, sa MP na lang ako pumunta," he said. "Siya 'yung bahala, siya 'yung magma-manage sa akin. So ayun, para sa akin, the best 'yung MP."
Pacquiao's stable includes some of the most prominent active boxers in the Philippines, including bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero and super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas.
Marcial is confident that in MP Promotions, he will receive the best possible guidance.
"May mga ibang promoter na international, magaganda, malalaki," he said. "Pero alam niyo 'yung relationship na same kayo Filipino. Alam niyo na si Senator, nandiyan sa likod natin, na tutulong sa mga atleta lalo na sa pro boxing, kasi diyan din siya nanggaling."
"Siguro, I think MP Promotions is the best promoter," he added.
Marcial qualified for the Tokyo Olympics after reaching the semifinals of the 2020 Asia and Oceania qualifying tournament earlier this year, and eventually winning the gold medal in the middleweight division.
The subsequent postponement of the Games due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, compelled Marcial to think about turning professional. He has made it clear that his primary goal is still to bring a gold medal to the Philippines, as he intends to take advantage of the AIBA and IOC ruling that allows professional boxers to compete in the Olympics.
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