BOXING legend Manny Pacquiao personally congratulated Paris Olympic-bound fighter Eumir Felix Marcial for winning the silver medal in the recent Hangzhou 19th Asian Games in China.
Not only becoming the first Filipino boxer to qualify for the Paris Games after reaching the Asiad final — an Olympic continental qualifier, the 28-year-old fighter from Zamboanga City got an extra boost on his campaign after a courtesy call with the only eight-division world champions at his Forbes Park mansion in Makati City last Friday.
“He [Marcial] was congratulated by the Senator personally after bagging a silver medal in the Asian Games and making it to the Olympics for the second time,” International matchmaker Sean Gibbons said. “The living legend Pacquiao was so excited to see him, he also gave Eumir some boxing tips.”
But there was a bigger story ready to unfold.
The 44-year-old future hall of famer, according to Gibbons, is planning to set up a pro fight for Marcial in an undetermined venue in Manila — one of Marcial’s possible two scheduled pro bouts — before competing in the Paris Olympics from July 26 to August 11.
“The Asiad silver medalist and Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist just met with Viva Manny Pacquiao, he presented him with the silver medal, and the big news was the senator wants to do a fight here in Manila, maybe in February to be sponsored by the Manny Pacquiao promotions,” Gibbons added.
Marcial, who is sporting a 4-0 win-loss record with two knockouts, expressed excitement to fight in front of his hometown, noting that the last time he fought in Manila was in 2019 Philippines 30th Southeast Asian Games winning the middleweight class.
“It excites me to hear it from Senator himself that he wanted to arrange a fight here for me under his promotions,” Marcial said. “There are many Filipinos who like to see me fight here. I’m begging for the support of my fellow Filipinos.”
Marcial will be the main event bout of the fight card to be arranged by Gibbons later on, but the training of the four-time Southeast Asian Games middleweight king will stay in the United States.
“My training stays in the United States for sure because that’s the ideal place to train not only for my pro bouts but also for my Olympic campaign,” added Marcial. “I will just return to Manila two weeks before the fight if it’s officially announced.”