Tall, stocky and armed with a devastating knockout punch, Eumir Felix Marcial looks all set for a professional boxing career. Now, he’s got Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao in his corner.
Three weeks since he had a heart-to-heart meeting with the eight-division boxing megastar, Marcial declared on Thursday that he’s signed up a six-year promotional deal with MP Promotions as a professional boxer.
“I chose MP Promotions because they are behind me 100 percent in my quest to fight for the Philippines in future Southeast Asian Games, Asian Games and even Olympics,” Marcial said in a statement.But pro boxing is an entirely different world and transition from amateur doesn’t always go smoothly even for top amateurs like Marcial.
Fighting as a middleweight in the amateurs, Marcial may find himself in the domain of boxing superstars Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez in the pro ranks.
Marcial didn’t discuss whether he will scale down to the uneventful light middleweight division or even further down to the much exciting welterweight class where Pacquiao reigns for years.
Just the same, with no less than Pacquiao as his handler, Marcial is expected to turn heads especially in a sport looking for its next big star. He will be reportedly handled by US promoters Tom Brown and Al Haymon.
The contract with MP Promotions stipulates a minimum three fights per year, although that would be difficult to execute given the raging coronavirus pandemic.
“I want to start now and not later,” Marcial said in Filipino. The 24-year-old from Zamboanga City is a southpaw whose deliberate, in-your-face boxing style is tailor-made for the pros.
As one of the few Filipinos assured of slots in Tokyo, Marcial is hoping to win the first Olympic gold medal for the country.
And while everything is on hold, Marcial said he is confident he can continue to wear the Philippine colors while pursuing a world title fight in pros.
“I promise to give it my all to win the Olympic gold and become a world champion from now on,” his statement added.
“People have expectations of me since I won the world youth in 2011. I will absorb all this pressure and use it as motivation in my training,” Marcial said.
In a written statement in Filipino, he thanked the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (Abap), which helped mold him into a three-time SEA Games champion, 2011 World Youth Championship gold winner, 2019 World Championships silver medalist and 2020 Olympic qualifying champ.
Abap president Ricky Vargas gave him his blessings saying Marcial is welcome to train in Abap facilities with the help of its staff.
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