Thursday, June 24, 2021

Mendoza: Marcial missing the Olympics brewing

All Write

Eumir Felix Marcial is in the news again. Not for his golden chances in the Tokyo Olympics. Not for his professional career.

The lack of financial support—that’s what—from the PSC (Philippine Sports Commission), the government agency handing out monthly allowances to athletes under the PSC pool.

“I’m tired of telling them what I need,” the Inquirer’s Marc Anthony Reyes quoted Marcial as saying in Tagalog in his Radyo Singko 92.3 FM interview. “I really don’t want to speak anymore about the issue because I just want to focus on my Olympic training,” Marcial said. “They are just distractions to me.”

Before flying home recently, Marcial was in the United States for seven months.

And why was he there when Olympic-bound athletes like him were busy training in a bubble in Calamba, Laguna?

Well, Marcial now wears two hats: a professional fighter and an amateur boxer. Rules now allow pros to join the Olympics beginning with the 2016 Rio Games.

With the lure of money, sparked by a megabuck signing bonus in 2020, Marcial joined the Team Pacquiao stable.

Enjoying elite preparation in the famed L.A. Wild Card gym of Freddie Roach, Manny Pacquiao’s legendary trainer, Marcial won his pro debut last year on points in Los Angeles, California.

Instead of coming home immediately to join his fellow Olympians’ training at the so-called Calambubble, Marcial decided to stick it out in Los Angeles, and next requested for a personal trainer under the PSC account.

Of course, that was turned down. The PSC avoided being accused of preferential treatment.

But Guillermo Iroy, the PSC executive director, said Marcial continued to receive his P43K monthly allowance, plus P30K more as an Air Force personnel.

Marcial also refused to join his teammate in the Bangkok boxing camp, arguing, rather weakly, that, “I already got my physical training in the States and my staying home [in Zamboanga] will help me with my mental conditioning.”

This prompted boxing official Ed Picson to say, “Eumir has a world of his own now.”

I see the movie’s ending in my mind: “Malingering Marcial.”

One flew over the cuckoo’s nest all over again?


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