CEBU

Mendoza: Marcial now a swellhead?

I WAS told that Eumir Felix Marcial wants a trainer sent to him in his base in Los Angeles, California.

My source will never lie or he’ll lose my friendship.

Lest you have forgotten, Marcial is our 25-year-old middleweight hope for a boxing gold in the July Tokyo Olympics.

Marcial is in America because, aside from being a member of the Olympics-bound Philippine Team, he has also turned professional.

Olympic boxing now allows professionals to compete in the quadrennial Games.

Marcial had an auspicious professional debut in America only weeks back, winning a four-round bout by a unanimous decision.

Before Marcial flew to America, he had not acquired a professional boxing license from the Games and Amusements Board (GAB), according to Chairman Butch Ramirez of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).

A friend of mine told me that Games and Amusements Board (GAB) chief Baham Mitra had facilitated Marcial’s boxing license when the boxer was already on American soil, or weeks before Marcial’s baptism of fire in the pro ranks.

Don’t be surprised if Manny Pacquiao was of help. Marcial fights under MP Promotions, Pacquiao’s boxing outfit now headed by Sam Gibbons.

That essentially makes Marcial attached to two lovers—the pro MP Promotions and the amateur Abap (Alliance of Boxing Associations in the Philippines).

After his pro victory, Marcial was supposed to come home to continue his training, amateur-style, as required by Olympic fighting.

But Marcial continues to ignore Abap’s calls for him to return.

Recently, Marcial even sought the help of Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioner Ramon Fernandez to secure an extension of his travel permit in America.

And now this: Is it true that Marcial is also asking the Abap and PSC to shoulder his trainer’s plane fare to Los Angeles, salaries and other living expenses while in the US?

If true, why this sudden feeling of entitlement?

While Marcial’s fellow boxers are all out in training at the Calamba “bubble,” which begins possibly on January 17, why can’t he join them there?

Truth to tell, his teammates had been toiling intensely for three months now.

Has Marcial become another case of a swellhead?

Pray that’s not true. But that can only be so if Marcial returns home. Soonest.


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