The Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines wants Tokyo Olympics-bound Eumir Felix Marcial to join the training of his teammates in Thailand.
ABAP secretary-general Ed Picson is trying to convince Marcial to join the team in Thailand, assuring the latter that he will be provided with quality sparring partners as he trains with his countrymen.
“The training in Thailand will be an Olympic-style training and not a professional style. So, it might be better for Eumir to join the rest of the team in Thailand,” said Picson on Tuesday during the online Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum.
Marcial is currently training as a professional fighter at the Wild Card Gym of coach Freddie Roach in Los Angeles, USA, while his three teammates in Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam and Irish Magno are in Thailand.
Aside from the three Tokyo-bound boxers, seven other members of the national team, plus five coaches, led by Nolito Velasco, are in Thailand as part of the team’s preparations for the Hanoi SEA Games in November.
“We have other boxers there (Thailand) helping our Olympians train, and at the same time raise their level heading to the SEA Games,” said Picson.
The boxing official also bared the possibility that Petecio, Paalam and Magno may no longer get the chance to come home to the Philippines before heading to the Tokyo Olympics, which is just 107 days away.
“Even before the three boxers left for Thailand last month, we presented them this scenario na baka tuluy-tuloy na sila sa Tokyo. There’s this possibility. And they understood,” said Picson.
Strict travel restrictions and the importance of pushing their training to the highest level, according to Picson, may force the three Filipino boxers to head straight to Tokyo for the Games set July 23 to Aug. 8.
“We’ve talked about it that their overseas training might be extended all the way up to the Olympics. Wala nang uwian,” Picson told the forum presented by San Miguel Corporation, Milo, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.
From Thailand, the Filipino boxers are scheduled to compete in the Asian Championships scheduled to start on May 21 in New Delhi. And if the COVID-19 situation allows, they might stay longer in the Indian capital to train.
“Then, they return to Thailand. Actually, we’re looking at other places or other countries where they can train but it depends which country is willing to let us in,” said Picson in the forum powered by Smart with Upstream Media as webcast partner.
“But it all depends on the situation. Everything is so fluid right now. And it’s nobody’s fault,” he added.