MANILA – The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) reassured its commitment to support Olympic-bound Eumir Felix Marcial even if he is now considering turning professional.

Rumors became rife that the PSC may not anymore keep on supporting Marcial after his plans to follow the footsteps of fellow national team pugilist Charly Suarez became known.

But on Monday, Deputy Executive Director Guillermo Iroy and Commissioner Mon Fernandez debunked the rumors as they told Marcial that the PSC remains fully supportive of him.

“Agad naman ang naging tugon nina PSC deputy executive director Atty. Guillermo Iroy at commissioner Ramon Fernandez na nagbigay ng katiyakan ng kanilang 100 percent support hindi lang ng aking kampanya kundi ng lahat ng ating Olympians (The response of PSC deputy executive director Guillermo Iroy and commissioner Ramon Fernandez was quick, and they gave assurance not just to me but also to the other Olympians of their 100 percent support),” Marcial said in a statement on Monday.

Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) president Ricky Vargas, meanwhile, expressed gladness that Marcial will still get some backing from the PSC.

“I am happy for Eumir. Now there is no more hindrance for his desire to turn professional. We wish him the best, and if Eumir is willing and able when the Olympics come around, we will gladly welcome him to the lineup,” Vargas said in a separate statement.

ABAP secretary general Ed Picson said “this is the happy compromise we were looking for and now that PSC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez and Deputy Executive Director Guillermo Iroy Jr. have reportedly come out with the assurance, we are relieved. We thank Comm. Mon and Atty. Iroy for stepping up to the plate for Eumir.”

Marcial has yet to decide if he will fully turn pro, but remains keen on giving the Philippines its first Olympic gold next year in Tokyo. (PNA)