Of all the dispatches I’ve read about our Olympians training for Tokyo 2021, the strangest one I read was that of Eumir Marcial. Previous dispatches were about Mr. or Miss So-and-so and his or her team are off to a training camp or are about to leave for a tournament abroad as part of their preparation for the Olympics.
Gymnast Carlos Yulo and pole vaulter EJ Obiena come to mind.
But Marcial’s latest update about his Olympic preparation is a bit worrying and I hope his situation will be corrected in the crucial months heading to Tokyo. Marcial, who was featured in the news a few months ago because of a tug-of-war between professional managers and the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines (Abap), left the country all by his lonesome a few days ago according to the dispatch.
No trainer, no minder from Abap, not even a word from them.
Marcial left for the US to train with Freddie Roach but he said he asked Abap if he could have his usual trainer with him.
“We’ll see about that,” he was told but weeks passed and he didn’t hear a word so he left, alone, to train for the Olympics which is nine months away.
Marcial suspects his turning pro may have led to a thawing of ties between Abap and its prized fighter and I seem to remember during the height of the tug-of-war, Abap reminded him of his goal. I think Marcial also tried his hardest to convince those courting him that Olympics was his primary target and what ultimately convinced him to turn pro was when he was generously told that after signing up, he’d be left to chase that dream.
This is the first such case I’ve heard. Promoters usually line up fights for marquee fighters weeks after signing them. But I guess, Marcial is lucky that his promoter is MP.
But sadly, too, this is the first case I’ve heard of a potential medalist leaving for a training camp all alone.
I hope that changes soon and whatever differences Marcial and Abap have will be patched up. I believe both need each other should we dare dream to win that elusive gold in Tokyo and I think our chances would be improved should Marcial have all the help he needs from Abap.
I hope the next dispatch about Marcial’s training would be about him having his Abap trainers with him, helping him for Tokyo 2021.