WITH his medical requirements nearly complete, Olympic-bound Felix Eumir Marcial intends to get his pro boxing license from the Games and Amusements Board next week so he can prepare for his move to the United States and begin his promising prizefighting career under veteran American promoter Sean Gibbons.
“Halos kumpleto na po ‘yong medical requirements ko. ‘Yong hepa (hepatitis) test ko na lang ang kulang, sabi kasi ‘yong dalawang test na ginawa po sa akin mali,” Marcial said from his home in Imus, Cavite where he has been staying since the country was locked down in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
GAB chairman Baham Mitra said that according to the GAB physician what Marcial took was the wrong diagnostic test for hepatitis needed by the government regulatory agency for professional sports.
“He submitted a screening for Hepatitis B. For a new licensee, we require a quantitative analysis for Hepatitis B S AG, an example of which is Elista method and the like,” Mitra quoted the GAB doctor as saying.
Mitra added he’s looking forward to Marcial finally going to the GAB office and getting his license “and make the process for Eumir as smooth as possible.”
Marcial said once he gets the results of the latest diagnostic test “hopefully makapunta na po ako next week to get my GAB license.”
The 30th Southeast Asian Games gold medalist signed a six-year deal last July with MP Promotions of boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, with Las Vegas-based MP chief Gibbons stating that he would personally supervise the boxer’s pro build-up once he arrives in the US.
Gibbons said Marcial’s preparations for the Tokyo Olympic Games would be the main priority, although he did not rule out the newly-minted prizefighter getting his feet wet with a couple of short-round fights to raise his profile with American sports fans.
The promoter added that Marcial would be based in Los Angeles and will train with veteran coaches, possibly including respected trainer Freddie Roach, the former top cornerman of Pacquiao.
Marcial said that he still has not received any updates from Gibbons regarding his travel to the US, although he already has an American visa.
“Sabi po sa amin ni Sean na pag-dating ko po sa US duon na po ako mag-aaply ng tinatawag na P1 visa,” Marcial said. “Sabi niya handa-handa lang kasi kung maayos na ang lahat. Puwede na akong umalis.
The “P1 visa” is given “exclusively for athletes (or other entertainers) and their coaches and support,” according to onlinevisas.com.
Marcial said he still has not sparred since mid-March when virtually the entire country was locked down to stem the spread of COVID-19. He, however, participated in online fitness and conditioning workouts with his fellow national athletes.
“Mahirap ‘yong walang actual training and sparring. Pero boksingero naman tayo kaya dapat tayong handa anytime,” the Zamboanga City pride said.