Marcial tests negative, Roach session next

Eumir Marcial cleared a major hurdle towards his projected American debut when the Tokyo Olympics qualifier tested negative for the coronavirus in Los Angeles on Monday.

Though he had tested negative before he flew out of Manila on Sunday, Marcial was made to take another as he is scheduled to train for the first time with Freddie Roach on Wednesday afternoon (Thursday morning in Manila).

Sean Gibbons, whose MP Promotions signed up Marcial to a contract, has made arrangements for “a grand arrival” at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood complete with a photographer-videographer.

Gibbons has gone the extra mile in drumbeating Marcial’s proposed first professional fight sometime in December by tapping ace boxing publicist Fred Sternburg, who has worked as Manny Pacquiao’s public relations guy in the United States the last decade.

Marcial topped the Asia-Oceania Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Jordan last March to earn his berth in next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

Gibbons said strength coach Justin Fortune and Roach assistant Marvin Somodio, who also make up Pacquiao’s training team, will work with Marcial.

“Right now the focus is on Tokyo,” Gibbons said.

“Even if he is turning pro, the goal is for Eumir to win in the Olympics.”

TGB Promotions, an outfit closely aligned with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions will showcase Marcial.

Meanwhile, the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines yesterday denied having treated Marcial shabbily after reports came out saying that the ABAP didn’t look after his welfare.

“I don’t understand what Eumir is complaining about. Despite our pleas for him to start fighting as a professional after the Olympics, he decided to embark on a pro career at this stage. We wanted to help him in the transition but he refused our offers to assist him in that process,” ABAP president Ricky Vargas said.

“Mr. Vargas and I talked with him several times during the lockdown telling him we would propose to promoters that they sign him up and pay him his multi-million peso signing bonus but allow him to fight in the Olympics first, before engaging in his first pro fight,” ABAP secretary general Ed Picson said, adding that Marcial didn’t even attend a single online training session in the last few months.

Marcial was even given training equipment and a pocket wi-fi so he could take part alongside the other members of the national team.

“Amateurs are supposed to compete for flag and country. Just ask athletes from other sports and other countries. But ABAP always gives. Then again, these are challenging times, so we are still sourcing funds for that.

I hope he will be patient. We will give him money. We even wrote PSC to upgrade his and Magno’s allowances after they qualified,” the ABAP president said.

Date: October 15, 2020 | By: Nick Giongco | Newspaper: Tribune | Source: