Boxing: Marcial uncertain of ABAP support, as he trains in US for Olympics

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 13 2020 06:11 PM | Updated as of Oct 13 2020 06:14 PM

Eumir Marcial on his way to Los Angeles. Handout

Philippines national boxer Eumir Felix Marcial has a lot on his mind as he flew to the United States over the weekend to prepare for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

The 24-year-old took the first flight out of the country on Sunday to meet with esteemed trainer Freddie Roach who, with the help of noted American matchmaker Sean Gibbons, agreed to coach the decorated Zamboangue├▒o fighter.

But he can't help but think if he'll still be getting the much needed support from the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines, the sport's national governing body.

“Gusto ko sana na makasama si (ABAP coaching consultant) coach Don (Abnett) sa training ko sa US kaya nag-request ako sa ABAP kung pwede ko siya makasama pati si (head) coach Ronald (Chavez). Sabi naman nila, ‘Sige, tignan natin’. Two weeks, three weeks, wala pa desisyon kaya nagdesisyon na ako na mag-isa bumiyahe sa US,” said Marcial.

ABS-CBN News reached out to the ABAP for comment, but was not available to answer questions as of posting time.

The middleweight campaigner together with boxer Irish Magno, pole vaulter EJ Obiena and gymnast Carlos Yulo are the Philippines' current qualifiers for the Olympics set July 23 to August 8, 2021 in Tokyo.

While he decided to turn professional last July, Marcial swore that the Olympics was his only priority since it has been his childhood dream to see his father Eulalio cheer for him in the quadrennial competition.

Marcial said he would like to have Abnett and Chavez by his side also to show his respect to the ABAP leadership.

“Siguro nga masama loob ng ABAP, o kung anuman ang dahilan nila kaya sila ganiyan kasi nga nag-pro na ako. Pero since last year pa sinabihan ko na sila mag-pro na ako. Olympics pa din ang focus ko kasi nga pwede naman mag-Olympics kahit professional na ako,” Marcial said.

“Malapit na yung Olympics and until now, puro virtual training lang kami sa ABAP. Bilang respeto sa kanila, naghintay lang ako ng ano ba plano nila sa akin. Halos two months na ako nag-coordinate sa kanila pero parang wala pa din plano sa akin kaya nagdesisyon na ako na mag-training sa US.”

Marcial felt he now is being abandoned by those who were supposed to back him during his Olympic preparations.

“Iniisip ko din ngayon paano kung magka-issue sa budget ko dito sa US kasi kukunin ko si coach Freddie tapos susunod sa akin si (cousin) Anthony (Marcial) para maging assistant ko dito. Pero bahala na sa gastos kasi importante sa akin makapunta sa US at masimulan ko na ang training,” Marcial said.

Initially, Marcial planned to use whatever windfall he would get as an Olympic qualifier as his budget to defray the costs his US training would incur.

“Nag-gold ako sa Asian qualifier, Olympian na ako ngayon pero wala talaga ako nakuha kahit singko sa panalo ko na 'yun. Pero sabi ko nga, lahat yan, motivation ko 'yan para lalo ako magpursige na makuha ko ang unang Olympic gold ng Pilipinas,” said Marcial.

Marcial though is thankful to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), specifically chairman William Ramirez, Commissioner Ramon Fernandez and the agency’s NSA affairs for assisting him in his documentary requirements before leaving for the US.