Eumir aims to resume professional career

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ANOTHER shot at the gold at the Paris 2024 Olympics remains a priority for Eumir Felix Marcial but for the meantime, the Tokyo Games bronze medalist will be focusing on his professional career.

“As for now, I’ll be focusing on my professional career. I want to fight in December to keep me going,” Marcial told BusinessMirror on Monday through overseas call before boarding Philippine Airlines flight PR 427 to Manila from Narita Airport in Japan together with his f ellow boxers and team officials.

“I am also under contract,” added Marcial, who penned deal with Senator Manny Pacquiao’s MP Promotions in July last year.

Marcial was successful in his professional debut last December in Los Angeles, beating American Andrew Field in a non-title four-round middleweight bout.

He didn’t fight as a pro after that and returned to the ring in May for the Asian championships, an amateur tournament, and lost to an opponent from Uzbekistan in the first round, 0-5.

That triggered an alarm on Marcial’s readiness for the Tokyo Olympics, prompting the Associaton of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines to send him to training camp at USA Boxing’s headquarters in Colorado Springs.

He trained for six weeks at the US facility, but his stamina was wanting. In his semifinal bout at the Tokyo Olympics against Ukraine’s Oleksandr Khyzhniak, Marcial obviously lost steam and yielded the fight via split decision to settle for the bronze medal.

Khyzhniak, however, lost his domination of the weight category as he suffered a knockout lost to Brazil’s Hebert Sousa in the finals.

He said his dream to be successful in the pros remain, but the 25-year-old pride of Zamboanga City said Paris is a mission waiting to be accomplished.

“There’s still unfinished business—winning an Olympic gold is always a priority,” he said. “So in 2024, I really want to upgrade my bronze to an Olympic gold.”

Marcial, silver medalists Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam and Irish Magno headed straight to Summit Ridge in Tagaytay City for the mandatory seven-day hotel quarantine.

Upon his release from quarantine, Marcial will fly to the US to watch Pacquiao fight unbeaten Errol Spence Jr. for his International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Council welterweight belts on August 21 (August 22 in Manila) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“It’s a great honor to watch Senator Manny fight. He is the one who inspires us and other fellow boxers to work hard,” he said. “At the same time, it may also be his last fight so it is a great honor to witness that.”

Marcial added that he is set to marry long-time fiancée Princess Jenniel Galarpe in December in Puerto Galera.

MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons said Marcial will be arriving in Las Vegas on August 18.

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