GAMES and Amusements Board chairman Abraham Mitra is willing to hasten the process for Olympic-bound boxer Felix Eumir Marcial once he applies for a professional license with the government regulatory agency in charge of pro sports.
“All who have their proven their worth in the amateurs (Marcial included) may be given the fast lane,” Mitra said yesterday in the Philippine Sportswriters Association online forum.
Mitra said Marcial was supposed to pay the GAB office a visit last week with one of his handlers “pero hindi po natuloy. Hinihintay lang namin si Marcial.”
He added that appointments with the GAB office can now be made online in advance “so we won’t be surprised baka isang tropa ng boksingero, kaya ingat din. We practice proper social distancing and decorum inside our office.”
In transitioning to the professional ranks, Mitra explained the required steps before a boxer can finally compete in 10 to 12-round bouts in the public sports session sponsored by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., San Miguel Corp. Smart, Bresca Restaurant and Milo.
“Usually for boxers turning pro they start with two four-rounders then two six-rounders and two eight-rounders before they can box in 10-rounders, “ he said. “Puwede ng mag-10 rounds na laban kung lahat panalo. Of course, depende din sa kanilang kalaban (sa outcome ng bout).
“‘Yung ibang boxer kasi ina-assess pa ‘yung capability nila. Kapag nanalo ka ng dalawa sa four, puwede ka ng mag-six rounds, kapag nakadalawang panalo ka na six rounds, puwede ka ng mag-eight.”
But in the case of Marcial, who recently signed a six-year contract with Sen. Many Pacquiao’s MP Promotions, he said, “siguro isang four, isang six, isang eight at puwede na mag-10 rounds.”
Mitra said the Zamboanga City boxing pride will have to go through the required physical check-up, which is now free thanks to a joint agreement with GAB and the Department of Health, before being issued a boxing license.
“There can be no shortcuts here but I believe Marcial will be able to easily pass the medical exam,” he said.
Las Vegas-based MP chief Sean Gibbons has said that he wants to have Marcial in the US by next month so he can hook up with some top trainers there, possibly including top cornerman Freddie Roach.
Gibbons said that while Marcial’s focus will be on his preparations for next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games, he would like the fighter to compete in two to three matches before fighting in the Japanese capital to give him a foretaste of what he can expect once he fights professionally full-time.
The veteran promoter, who was once a matchmaker for Top Rank Promotions owned by longtime ring impresario Bob Arum, said Marcial will have his training camp in Los Angeles where he himself will personally oversee the boxer’s workouts.