Philippine boxing body hits moves to distract Olympian Eumir Marcial
Eumir Marcial

Philippine boxing body hits moves to distract Olympian Eumir Marcial

Dante Navarro (Philstar.com) - April 9, 2020 - 5:24pm

MANILA, Philippines – The Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) on Thursday deplored efforts by some quarters to lure top ABAP boxer Eumir Marcial into their fold with huge financial offers before the Tokyo Olympics.

Boxing president Ricky Vargas said those offers are not in any way helping the prized fighter in his buildup for the Tokyo Games, originally set this August but was moved to next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But the middleweight champion, who recently topped the Olympic boxing elims in Jordan, won’t be slowing down in his preparations, being one of the country’s best bets for the elusive gold in the quadrennial games.

“It has come to my attention that certain individuals and entities have been approaching him, dangling vast financial offers to sign up with them before the Olympics,” said Vargas in a statement.

“Understandably with the Olympics over a year away, many are scrambling to land a big fish like Marcial, who is widely acknowledged to be one of the most exciting boxers in the sport at this time,” he added.

Irish Magno was the other fighter to clinch an Olympic berth in women’s flyweight class.

According to Vargas, Marcial has always maintained that his singular focus is to honor a promise made to his father and realize a dream that both of them shared from his childhood – to fight and win for his country in the Olympics.

“But with mind-boggling amounts being floated around recently, Marcial has been constantly pressured to deviate from his avowed mission,” said Vargas, adding that the numbers being thrown around are just too staggering (they run into the tens of millions of pesos).

ABAP is a non-stock, non-profit organization, which, in partnership with government through the Philippine Sports Commission, has taken it upon itself to nurture the career of national boxers such as Marcial.

ABAP does so in the belief that the Pinoy athletes need support from both government and the private sector to realize our country’s Olympic aspirations.

“Marcial is one athlete who presents a viable opportunity for a podium finish in the Olympics. But in a highly demanding sport such as boxing, he needs to focus 100 percent on his preparation and training,” Vargas stressed.

“While we do not begrudge Marcial of opportunities for financial security, we believe that these will come in due time. With the mark that he has made in the sport, whatever his performance in the Olympics will surely reap huge monetary gains, much more than what is now being offered,” said Vargas.

“With this, I appeal to everyone to please allow this young man to first fulfill his goal- that of participating and doing well in the Tokyo Olympics to fulfill a life-long promise of a son to his father, and to do his country proud,” he said.

Vargas also assured that after the Olympics, the ABAP will not stand in the way of whatever path Marcial may wish to take in his career.

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