MANILA – Middleweight boxer Eumir Felix Marcial, who booked a ticket to the Olympics earlier this year in Amman, Jordan, belied persistent reports that a rift had developed between him and the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP).
Marcial said he has the highest regard for the officials of the national sports association for boxing and would never do anything to jeopardize his relationship with ABAP.
The 25-year-old Zamboangueno pug said that although he sought advice from several people outside of the organization, he assured that he wanted ABAP to be his partner in his journey to the Olympics.
Marcial said ABAP president Ricky Vargas and secretary-general Ed Picson are helping him with negotiations with professional boxing managers to ensure that whatever engagements are entered into will not hamper his Olympic aspirations.
“Alam ko naman na ang ikabubuti ko ang hangad nina Mr. Vargas at Sir Ed. Kanilang pag-aaralan ang mga alok, at ilalatag nila sa akin ang mga iyon at nasa akin pa rin ang huling desisyon (I know that Mr. Vargas and Sir Ed want the best for me. They will study the offer, and they will present this to me and I will make the final decision),” said Marcial, an airman of the Philippine Air Force.
Meanwhile, Picson assured that they will not stand in the way of Marcial’s professional boxing plans.
“Mr. Vargas and I spoke with renowned professional boxing manager Shelly Finkel and our conversation was frank, cordial and enlightening. Of course, we told him that we would also like to hear from other interested parties,” Picson said.
“If we were to stop Marcial from exploring professional boxing opportunities, why would we speak with those interested in him? We just want to ensure that Eumir gets the best deal possible and that it will not conflict with the Olympic goal,” he added.
In a protracted phone conversation with Picson and ABAP sports psychologist Marcus Manalo, the dusky Zamboangueño apologized if his discussions with people outside of ABAP were misinterpreted by some quarters.
“Nag-text na nga ako kay Mr. Vargas para mag-sorry. Hindi ko talaga magagawa na masaktan ang mga opisyal at mga kasamahan ko sa ABAP (I texted Mr. Vargas to apologize. I have no intention to offend the officials and my colleagues in ABAP),” Marcial said. (ia/ABAP)