Eumir Marcial is hoping that his professional team and the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines meet halfway so he can still fulfil his lifelong dream of becoming an Olympic champion.
“Since after the Tokyo Olympics, I had dreamt about winning a gold I(medal) in Paris,” Marcial said during an appearance in the Athletes’ Tribune on Monday.
“We have to come up with a plan for that.”
Marcial is fresh from winning his fourth pro bout, demolishing Argentine Ricardo Villalba in just two rounds at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, over the weekend.
“Hopefully, my association(ABAP) and my promotion (Sean Gibbons of MP Promotions) come up with a plan so I can perform (in the Olympics),” Marcial, 27, said from the United States where he has been based the last six months.
“I think everything’s going to play out smoothly if we come up with a good plan.”
To get to Paris, Marcial has to perform well in the 19th Hangzhou Asian Games in September-October since it will serve as an Olympic qualifier.
Marcial, who bagged a bronze in Tokyo, remains one of the country’s brightest hopes in Paris alongside weightlifting champion Hidilyn Diaz and fellow fighters Carlo Paalam and Nasty Petecio and Italy-based world No. 3 pole vaulter EJ Obiena.
But Marcial’s path to Paris could be blocked if his pro handlers follow their tight schedule that is geared towards a world title shot in 2024.
Gibbons has advised Marcial that his next fight will be another step up in class.
“It’s going to be set for ten rounds,” Gibbons said, noting that they are speeding things up so he can position the Filipino southpaw to a world title crack next year.
That’s going to happen if Marcial continues to fight as a pro on a regular basis and forget about switching back to amateur status again to fight for the flag and country.
The ABAP says it will keep its door open for Marcial and the fighter has intimated that he still wants to represent internationally and join his national team buddies in training for a month before a big event.
Marcial has a tough decision to make.