IF WHAT the papers say are true that Eumir Felix Marcial received P10 million as signing fee to become a professional boxer (is there a reason to doubt that?), then good for him. Not everyone can avail of that blessing, especially in times like this when the world is reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.
And the one capturing the prized catch was no less than Manny Pacquiao, the only eight-division world boxing champion in history, through Pacman’s MP Promotions.
“I chose MP Promotions because they are behind me 100 percent in my quest to fight for the Philippines in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, Asian Games and even the Olympics,” said Marcial in a statement.
With this development, Marcial was given a golden opportunity to aim for two birds with one stone—gain world stardom as a pro and become an Olympic star as well since new rules now allow professional boxers to compete in the quadrennial Games.
In his statement, Marcial also thanked the country’s boxing association headed by Ricky Vargas, who supported Marcial’s move and offered the fighter continued use of facilities for training.
Marcial is the rare middleweight from Zamboanga City—rare because Filipino fighters are not really built for that category—with the uncanny knockout punch. A lefty, he is a three-time SEA Games champion, a 2011 World Youth Championship champion, a 2019 silver winner in the World Championships and one of only four Filipinos to earn slots to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The beauty of it all is that by turning pro, Marcial has not lost his ticket to the Olympics that had been reset to start in July 2021 due to the Covid-19 crisis.
“I promise to give it my all to win the Olympic gold and become a world champion, too,” said the 24-year-old Marcial, whose contract requires him a minimum of three fights a year. “People have expectations of me.”
All the best, Eumir.