THE country’s top amateur boxer is linking up with the country’s top boxing promotions.
Olympic-bound Eumir Felix Marcial finally signed up with Manny Pacquiao (MP) Promotions on Thursday, setting the stage for the professional debut of one of the most sought-after Filipino fighters today.
Marcial inked a six-year deal with the promotional outfit owned by boxing legend and Senator Manny Pacquiao.
"Nais ko po na iparating sa lahat ang aking desisyon na pumirma ng isang promotional deal sa Manny Pacquiao Promotions," said Marcial in a statement.
More than the financial considerations, the AIBA World Championship silver medalist said key to him signing with MP Promotions was the leeway given him of representing the country in major international competitions once the national team and the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) need his service.
The arrangement has been specified in the contract Marcial signed.
"Sa katunayan, nakasaad sa aking six-year promotional deal na hindi sila magiging hadlang sa oras na kailanganin ako ng national team," said the 24-year-old pride of Lunzuran, Zamboanga.
The three-time Southeast Asian Games gold medal winner added it is with great pride that he'll be guided by the greatest boxer the country ever had, along with MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons, noting how the outfit produced Filipino world champions led by International Boxing Federation (IBF) super-flyweight title holder Jerwin Ancajas.
"Karangalan ko din na maging gabay sa aking boxing career si Senator Manny Pacquiao, na sa tulong ni MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons, ay naging instrumento sa tagumpay ng ating mga current world champions Jerwin Ancajas, Johnriel Casimero, at Pedro Taduran," he said.
No details yet have been provided on when Marcial will have his first pro fight nor at what division he's going to campaign.
As an amateur, Marcial fights at middleweight (75 kg), and previously fought at welterweight (69 kg).
Given his current weight, the Filipino will have to deal with the likes of Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin, Demetrius Andrade, Jermall Charlo, among others, if he is to become a world champion.
Despite turning pro, Marcial said winning a first ever Olympic gold for the Philippines remains his priority.
"Gaya po ng aking naipangako, ibibigay ko ang lahat ng aking makakaya para makuha ang minimithi natin na Olympic gold medal, at maging isang boxing world champion ilang taon mula ngayon," he said.
As he goes through his new journey, Marcial expressed gratitude to his ABAP family led by president Ricky Vargas, secretary-general Ed Picson, coaches Romeo Brin, Pat Gaspi, Boy and Roel Velasco, Elmer Pamisa, and Ronald Chavez, along with sports psychologist Marcus Manalo, and performance analyst Jeff Pagaduan.
He also thanked advisers Atty. Clint Aranas, Atty. Jeff Manuel David, as well as American managers Keith Connolly and Shelly Finkel for their trust after expressing their desire earlier to handle his pro career.
Most of all, Marcial acknowledged the support of his fiancée Princess Galarpe, siblings, and parents Carmelita and Eulalio Marcial.
Last, the 5-foot-8 Marcial thanked the Filipino sports fans who have been supporting him ever since he first made headline by winning the gold in the World Junior boxing championship nine years ago in Kazakhstan.