Fernandez to open boxing gym for Marcial

AS one of his first moves as officer-in-charge of the Philippine Sports Commission, Commissioner Ramon Fernandez intends to open the ABAP boxing gym at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex to enable Olympic-bound boxer Eumir Marcial to resume intensive training after being laid off for over three months.

“(PSC deputy executive director) Atty. Guillermo Iroy informed me over the weekend that we can open the ABAP gym so Eumir can train once again,” the Cebu City-based Fernandez said yesterday before heading to Manila last night to assume his duties as acting PSC chief.

The former four-time PBA MVP is temporarily taking over the helm of the government sports agency after PSC chairman William Ramirez filed a leave of absence to look after his ailing wife, who underwent gall bladder surgery last week at the St. Luke’s Hospital in Taguig City.

Fernandez is expected to get his appointment papers from Malacanang once he arrives in Manila since the PSC is under the Office of the President.

Marcial, who topped the middleweight (75-kilogram) division of  the Asia-Oceania Olympic boxing qualifiers in Amman, Jordan last March to book a slot to the 2021 Tokyo Games, has been holed out in his Imus, Cavite residence, due to the pandemic, unable to train for lack of proper equipment.

Marcial’s social media posts show him harvesting vegetables in his backyard garden.

Boxing secretary-general Ed Picson recently sent the boxer, who has announced his intentions of turning pro, a heavy punching bag to help him train.

“Once we get to open the gym, we will enforce strict physical distancing. We may even require all the participants to undergo testing (for the COVID-19 virus) before allowing them to train there,” Fernandez said.

Picson said boxers training in Baguio City had undergone rapid tests, which could be a prelude for them to resume intensive training, including sparring.

“One of our junior boxers, Clint Jara, underwent swabbing (the full test) last Saturday,” he said. “I talked to PSC executive director Merly Ibay and she told me that the rest would be scheduled (for tesating) on July 3.”

There are currently 16 boxers in Baguio, including Olympic Games qualifier Irish Magno and 30th Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Nesty Petecio, plus national women’s head coach Reynaldo Galido, his assistant Mitchell Martinez, and Elias Recaido, who handles the  youth and junior boxers.

Fernandez said he will hold office at the PSC building within the Philsports Complex in Pasig City, adding he will undergo a 14-day quarantine after arriving from the only city in the country still under enhanced community quarantine because of escalating COVID cases there.

He said he wants to help Philippine Olympic Committee president Bambol Tolentino, who announced last week that he would push for the resumption of training of Olympic hopefuls in combat sports.

“I know that our karatekas have been training at Building F inside the Philsports complex.

The fencers have their own training gym inside the facility while the taekwondo jins can perhaps work out at the Philsports Arena,” he said. “We may also require all of their athletes and coaches to be pre-tested for the virus before training.”

Date: June 30, 2020 | By: Bong Pedralvez | Newspaper: Malaya | Source: https://malaya.com.ph/index.php/news_sports/fernandez-to-open-boxing-gym-for-marcial/?fbclid=IwAR0UwjbzUlIM0G2RNrQ6lPjDcwTvL16iAh11EfCN9cZSbHFSpQh131zQzcA#