OLYMPIC-bound boxer Eumir Felix Marcial yesterday announced that he has signed up with Manny Pacquiao Promotions, the outfit owned by the Filipino boxing icon, to handle his professional ring career for the next four or possibly six years.
“Mga two days pa po kami nagka-pirma ng MP Promotions pero ngayon ko lang po ina-announce sa media,” Marcial told Malaya-Business Insight by phone yesterday from his house in Imus, Cavite.
The 30th Southeast Asian Games gold medalist said the contract he signed with the outfit of the fighting senator was “four plus two.”
“If I become a world champion in the next four years then the contract will be extended for another two years,” Marcial explained, adding the contract came with a “significant” signing bonus, although he declined to say how much.
The boxer, who ruled the men’s middleweight division of the Asia-Oceania Olympic boxing qualifiers in Amman, Jordan last March to secure his ticket to the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games, had earlier dropped hints that he wanted to join Pacquiao’s outfit.
“Idol ko po talaga si Sen. Manny because humble siya at God-fearing. Magaling din talaga siya at dedicated at hard working sa training,” noted Marcial, a renewed Christian like the Pinoy ring icon.
Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines president Ricky Vargas welcomed the development in a statement released through ABAP secretary-general Ed Picson.
“Yes, Eumir informed me about this. I told him I am very happy for him, wished him well and said now he can focus on his career. He is in good hands with Sen. Pacquiao,” Vargas said. “I likewise reiterated that ABAP is all out in support of his quest and he is always welcome to our training camp.
“If he needs any help his ABAP family and coaches will be there for him always. I also thanked him for his commitment to train hard and represent our country in the Olympics.”
Marcial, 24, said he was relieved that a big load was lifted off his shoulders, adding he could now concentrate on his preparations for the Tokyo Olympics.
“Makaka-focus na rin ako sa aking training sa Olympics kasi nakapag-desisyon na ako. Ang goal ko muna talaga manalo ng gold sa Tokyo,” Marcial said, adding he would only be too glad to take up ABAP’s offer to join his national teammates in training at the ABAP gym inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
Philippine Olympic Committee President Bambol Tolentino and Philippine Sports Commission officer-in-charge Ramon Fernandez have been pooling their efforts to enable locally-based Olympic qualifiers like Marcial and Irish Magno and other aspirants in combat sports to resume actual training.