MANILA, Philippines -- Sports patron Manny V. Pangilinan is working with ABAP president Ricky Vargas in continually reminding Eumir Marcial to keep his focus on next year's Tokyo Olympics.
Marcial became the first Filipino boxer to punch his ticket to the Tokyo Games after a golden performance in the Asia and Oceania Olympic qualifiers in March. Soon, however, reports came out that Marcial was receiving offers to turn professional, something that the 24-year-old boxer later confirmed.
When asked about Marcial's situation on One News Philippines, Pangilinan said: "Kinakausap natin ni Ricky Vargas na mag-ano na muna, to stay where he is for the Olympics."
"Na-postpone 'yung Tokyo Olympics this year. But siguro naman by next year meron na tayong boxing," he added.
Marcial has made it clear that he intends to compete in the Olympic Games, even if he does decide to turn professional. The International Olympic Committee allows professional boxers to compete in the Games.
"Sabi ko sa kanila (ABAP) ang promise ko sa kanila kung sakaling mag-pro ako this year, na until Olympics, gusto ko sila pa rin ang makasama ko sa training, sa mga laban ko, sila pa rin," Marcial said.
Vargas, meanwhile, said ABAP "will never stand in the way of opportunities for his personal financial stability." However, he also reminded Marcial not to make any hasty decision regarding his future as a boxer.
The MVP Sports Foundation is a major supporter of Filipino boxers. Aside from Marcial, Irish Magno has also qualified to the Tokyo Olympics.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).