By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Here’s a piece of pleasant news for fans of Eumir Marcial.
The veteran slugger can now focus on his bid to qualify again to the Olympics after his fifth professional fight was cancelled.
Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Bambol Tolentino disclosed this on Friday, Aug. 18, adding that Marcial is scheduled to return from the United States to work on his Australian visa in order to join the national boxing team’s training camp in Canberra starting on Sept. 1.
Marcial’s pro fight this month was moved to September, which runs conflict with the 19th Asian Games set Sept. 23 to Oct. 8 in Hangzhou, China.
The Asian Games is a qualifier to the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Tolentino brokered Marcial’s availability for the Asian Games with his promotional outfit MP Promotions where its president, Sean Gibbons, agreed to write off the boxer’s training expenses for his supposed pro fight.
“Sean (Gibbons) readily agreed that Marcial focuses on Hangzhou and go after his Olympic dream,” Tolentino said.
Marcial aims to strike the Olympic gold medal this time after clinching the middleweight bronze in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The Zamboanga native, however, is expected to face a tough task in the Asian Games as he will be competing in a higher weight class – the 81kg light heavyweight – after the middleweight division was scrapped from the program.
Two Olympic berths are at stake in his division.