ABAP kayoes Marcial

Eumir Marcial formally walks away from the national team to focus on his professional career. Photo by Jhay Otamias

Eumir Marcial can’t have his cake and eat it, too.

The Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines on Friday said that the Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist will have to decide whether he will pursue his goal of winning a gold medal in Paris or concentrate on his fledgling professional career.

ABAP president Ed Picson said the only way Marcial regains his slot on the team is if he opts to put his pro pursuit on hold momentarily.

“He has to train with us just like everyone else on the team,” Picson said.

Marcial, 27, is in the United States to focus on his pro career.

Last month, the hard-hitting middleweight won his third bout in the punch-for-pay ranks, outpointing Steven Pichardo in Carson, California.

Promoted by Manny Pacquiao’s MP Promotions, whose affairs are being run by do-it-all boxing man Sean Gibbons, the Zamboanga southpaw had actually turned pro in December 2020 in Los Angeles.

Last April, Marcial had to pick himself up from three knockdowns to stop Isiah Hart in Las Vegas.

“He can’t stay in the US (and fight as a pro) then go back to us (to train),” Picson said.

“It’s unfair because everyone’s with us.”

Picson said that Marcial, a four-time Southeast Asian Games champion and 2011 world youth titlist, had promised to rejoin the national squad following his April fight.

“He said that he will get back after that fight (in April) but he didn’t.”

The national team is currently campaigning in the Asian championships in Amman, Jordan.

Initially, Marcial told the ABAP coaching staff that he would train alongside his national team pals for the Jordan slugfest.

But Marcial changed his mind a month before the tournament began, leaving the ABAP with no choice but to reiterate its stand about his delicate standing on the team.

Picson said the last time Marcial got his monthly allowance from the Philippine Sports Commission was last year following his breakthrough Olympic performance.

“This year (2022), I don’t think he’s received anything (from the government),” Picson said.

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