Eumir Marcial assured the Philippine Olympic Committee of his commitment to fight for flag and country as the Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist vowed to compete in two major meets in 2023, including the Hangzhou Asian Games.
“I talked to him (Marcial) now and he will fight in (the Southeast Asian Games) Cambodia and Asian Games,” Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham ‘Bambol’ Tolentino told Daily Tribune on Tuesday.
“That’s a very important event,” added Tolentino, stressing that the Asian Games will serve as a qualifying tournament for the Paris 2024 Games.
Marcial is deep in training in Las Vegas for his fourth professional bout in February.
Working under lead trainer Jorge Capetillo and strength and conditioning coach Memo Heredia, the 27-year-old Marcial is looking for a breakout win in this upcoming fight after being unable to come up with a smashing victory in his first three outings.
Marcial will be gunning for his fifth SEA Games gold in Phnom Penh while he will aim to improve on his Asian Games bronze medal finish in Jakarta in 2018 when he competes in the rescheduled Hangzhou Asiad in September-October.
A few days ago, Heredia expressed his belief that it would be beneficial for Marcial to stay focused on his professional career rather than continue to moonlight as an amateur.
Heredia, who had a hand in Juan Manuel Marquez’s one-punch knockout of Manny Pacquiao in 2012, swears professional boxing and amateur competition are different.
With Marcial making a promise to the POC, his handlers in the US are expected to draw up a revised game plan that will make the stone-fisted southpaw available for national team call-ups.
Meanwhile, the Philippine men and women’s boxing squads are not getting holiday breaks.
“The boxers are all in Baguio,” Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines Secretary General Marcus Manalo said on Tuesday.
If everything falls into place, Marcial will join them there in preparation for the SEA Games in Phnom Penh probably in late-February or March.