EUMIR Marcial is being lured to turn pro? Is there something wrong with that? Seemingly, yes, if we ask Marcial’s bosses at the national boxing association.
If it’s not fake news, Ricky Vargas, the boxing president, wants to stop the vultures from hovering over Marcial’s head.
I mean, Vargas is just reacting the logical way. He has whipped his ass off to make Marcial an Olympic Games hopeful in Tokyo next year. He wouldn’t just let his hard work go down the drain without a fight, so to speak.
For, if Marcial should succumb to the weakness of the flesh, it’d be an entirely new ballgame again.
While new rules now admit pros to compete in the Olympics, Marcial would be a totally new package—damaged goods, maybe?—if he’s no longer an amateur come Tokyo.
Training would be the chief obstacle.
If Marcial turns pro before Tokyo, will he still train as an amateur in the run-up to the Games?
Of course, not.
While the sweet science has evolved through the years, amateur boxing is anathema to professional pugilism.
The trainer that handles an amateur is a totally different animal from the trainer that mentors a pro.
While an amateur relies more on volume punches to hopefully secure a win, not the pro, whose hits and blows come in calculated staccato.
The amateur rushes, the pro restrains.
So, if Marcial decides to turn pro before 2021 Tokyo, he will essentially abandon his Olympic dream. Vargas might even shoo him away.
That’s as clear as Covid-19 being the current scourge of mankind today.
But will turning pro make Marcial an instant millionaire, which should be the No. 1 temptation I must say?
Maybe. But amid the virus pandemic, not a single mega-fight in the pro world can be seen in the immediate horizons. Thus, his million-peso dream gets on hold.
In contrast, if Marcial remains an amateur and continues to obey his father’s dream for him to win the country’s first gold in Olympic boxing—we’ve won two silvers already through Anthony Villanueva in 1964 Tokyo and Onyok Velasco in 1996 Atlanta—Eumir stands to win millions just the same if he succeeds.
That’s because the Olympic gold is now worth P10 million alone as per government budget. Add private donors and the stash could amount to a fortune, in the process effectively giving Marcial no less than five lifetimes.
So, c’mon, Ricky, stop worrying. Marcial will stay put. His dad will see to that.