Las Vegas is ready to welcome Hangzhou Asian Games silver medalist Eumir Marcual back as his American think tank lends a helping hand to the Filipino’s quest for the gold medal in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
“We will do our very best to turn silver into gold,” Sean Gibbons, Marcial’s American representative told Daily Tribune after the fighter settled for runner-up honors in his light-heavyweight title match with Chinese Tanglatihan Tuohetaerbieke Thursday night.
Gibbons said one way of getting ready for the Olympics is to get Marcial a fight or two.
“We will be talking with (Marcial’s promoter) Premier Boxing Champions about a fight maybe in January and possibly another one,” Gibbons said.
Marcial had a sensational run going into the final, having stopped his Thai quarterfinal foe and Syran semis rival with his dreaded right hook.
Though he got his Chinese foe buzzed in the first round, he lost the second round and didn’t do enough to convince the judges that he owned the third and final round.
Still, Gibbons was delighted with the outcome of the Asian Games campaign.
“The task was to get that Paris (Olympics) ticket and that’s exactly what Eumir did.”
“Mission accomplished,” he stressed.
Gibbons understood the decision rendered by the judges and was not broken-hearted at all.
“You fight somebody in his hometown and the fight goes the distance and the fight is close…”
To prepare for Paris, Gibbons added that Kay Koroma will play a vital role in Marcial’s buildup.
Koroma took Marcial under his wings in June and the two hit it off right away.
Marcial was supposed to do his fifth professional fight but was allowed to revert to amateur so he can represent the Philippines in the Asian Games but also secure an Olympic berth.
So far, the Philippines has four athletes who have made the Paris grade.
First to qualify was Italy-based pole vaulter EJ Obiena and the second and third were gymnasts Carlos Yulo and Filipino-American Aleah Finnegan.
Marcial’s silver medal proved to be the lone bright spot for the Philippine boxing team, whose fancied team members fell by the wayside just before the medal stages.
Tokyo Olympics silver medalists Carlo Paalam and Nesthy Petecio were eliminated.
Paalam, making his featherweight debut, bowed to Uzbek world champion Khalokov Abdumalik in the quarterfinal round.
Petecio skidded in her opening match against Taiwanese rival Lin Yu Ting while the rest of the nine-man squad headed for the exits just as hostilities in the Asian Games were about to escalate.