MANILA - After a terrific run in the Tokyo Olympics where he wound up with a bronze medal, Eumir Marcial is expected to return to the ring later this year -- but this time, as a professional.
Marcial, 25, signed with Manny Pacquiao's MP Promotions in July 2020 and already has one professional fight under his belt -- a unanimous decision win over American Andrew Whitfield in December 2020.
He shifted his focus back to the amateurs early this year and went on to have an impressive campaign in Tokyo, where he won his first two fights in abbreviated fashion before running into Ukrainian powerhouse Oleksandr Khyzhniak in the semifinals.
Marcial lost to the top seeded Ukrainian via split decision to emerge as a bronze medalist in his first ever Olympic stint.
"I'm very impressed and I'm very proud of Eumir," said Marcial's promoter, MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons, during an appearance on "Power and Play."
Gibbons would not deny that they "signed up for gold" but he is still satisfied with the bronze medal that Marcial secured, noting that Manny Pacquiao himself was also proud of the Filipino middleweight's efforts.
"He was winning the fight going into the third round, he just couldn't make the few adjustments, got a little tired," Gibbons said of Marcial, who lost the third round in all five of the judges' scorecards, allowing Khyzhniak to take a 3-2 win.
"I'm just so happy that he was able to achieve a medal, made the Philippines proud, made his family proud, made himself proud, and the Senator and myself are very proud of what he accomplished," he added.
As for Marcial's professional career, Gibbons stressed that they "got a lot of high hopes for him."
He expects Marcial to first attend to some business at home -- Marcial and other Filipino boxers are still in quarantine after arriving from Tokyo -- but the fighter should be back in the United States in the coming months.
"We're hoping by the beginning of September, to have him over here," said Gibbons.
Marcial had trained with Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Gym last year before his professional debut.
"Absolutely, he's going to be in the ring, somewhere, having another pro fight by the end of the year. That's a gimme, for sure," Gibbons added.
Marcial's professional career is not expected to prevent him from representing the Philippines in future events. He has already expressed a desire to continue chasing Olympic gold, a dream that he's had since his youth.
"If they give me a chance again and the opportunity to compete in another Olympics, I'll just grab the opportunity. And I'll work again, hard, to win the gold medal," Marcial told reporters after his last fight in Tokyo.