Sports

Dreaming of Paris, Eumir Marcial commits to Asian Games


Eumir Marcial

Eumir Marcial goes to his corner after knocking down Argentine Ricardo Villalba last February. —PHOTO FROM EUMIR MARCIAL’S INSTAGRAM

With his fifth professional fight called off and the new date set running smack into the Hangzhou Asian Games, Eumir Marcial will train his sights solely on the Asiad, seeing the event as his last chance to make the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“It’s now or never,” the 27-year-old from Zamboanga City, unbeaten in four pro fights, said as he is now slated to join the Philippine Team in Canberra, Australia where it is holed up to train for the Asiad slated Sept. 23 to Oct. 8.

“Eumir will be coming home from the US as soon as possible and work on his Australian visa,” said Philippine Olympic Committee president Bambol Tolentino, who brokered the pug’s availability with management firm MP Promotions headed by Sean Gibbons.

“Sean [Gibbons] readily agreed that Marcial focuses on Hangzhou and go after his Olympic dream,” Tolentino said.

Marcial settled for the bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympics two years ago and was very open in saying that he will go after the gold whenever he gets the chance.

Last chance

And he feels that this will be his last chance to make that dream happen. He also declared in a report a couple of weeks back that should he not make it, he will continue focusing solely on his professional career.

Boxers in Hangzhou will get automatic Paris slots by qualifying in the finals. But the road for Marcial will be tougher this time as he will fight in the 81-kilogram (kg) (light heavyweight) division compared to the 71-kg bracket in Tokyo he suited up in.

Marcial’s last pro fight was an abbreviated one, a second-round stoppage of Ricardo Villaba of Argentina at Alam0dome in San Antonio, Texas last February.

That was by far his most impressive performance as a pro as Marcial stopped the Argentine on his tracks just 48 seconds into the second stanza.

Marcial was supposed to fight later this month, only for that bout to be called off for September.

The Filipino made his priorities known by begging off from it to pursue his Olympic dream and have a shot at becoming the second athlete after weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz to win a Games gold medal.

So far, only pole-vaulted EJ Obiena has booked a slot in Paris. Ranked third in the world, Obiena will also be campaigning in the Asian Games where he is the solid favorite to win.



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