BOXING chief Ricky Vargas yesterday refuted reports quoting Olympic qualifier Eumir Felix Marcial that he was let down by the association in his preparations for the Tokyo Olympic Games next year.
Marcial, who arrived in the US last Sunday (Monday in Manila), lamented that his request to the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines to have Australian consultant Don Abnett and coach Ronald Chavez accompany him as part of his training team did not materialize.
The light middleweight boxer signed a six-year deal with MP Promotions owned by ring icon Manny Pacquiao, but MP Promotions chief Sean Gibbons, who met Marcial upon his arrival in Los Angeles, said this did not include Abnett and Chavez as part of his entourage.
Instead, Marcial will be training under noted American trainer Freddie Roach, who used to be the chief cornerman of Pacquiao.
“I don’t understand what Eumir is complaining about,” Vargas said. “Despite our pleas for him to start fighting as a professional after the Olympics, he decided to embark on a pro career at this stage.
“We wanted to help in the transition but he refused our offers to assist him in that process.”
ABAP secretary general Ed Picson said that he and Vargas had tried to help Marcial in negotiations with promoters who had dangled juicy offers.
Picson said Marcial wanted a pro contract right away so “he could help his family financially.”
“Mr. Vargas and I talked with him (Marcial) several times during the (COVID-19) lockdown telling him we would propose to promoters that they sign him up and his multi-million peso signing bonus on the condition that he fight in the Olympics first before appearing in a pro fight,” Picson said.
Picson mentioned the names of top American promoter and handler Shelley Finkel and Pacquiao, who eventually landed the sought-after Marcial.