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Monday, March 4, 2024

ABAP: More amateur pugs may turn pro

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More amateur boxers are expected to follow the footsteps of Eumir Felix Marcial.

These boxers will seek to turn professional, while representing the country in international amateur competitions at the same time.

Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines president Ricky Vargas said Marcial is seeking to get on the ring for at least one professional fight and before seeing action in the Tokyo Olympics next year.

“That’s the biggest challenge now. Are we ready for that?” said Vargas during the weekly online Zoom session of the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum with ABAP executive director Ed Picson.

Vargas said the time has come when professional organizations, pro fighters and the ABAP should be talking together to plan out the future of boxers in the country.

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“So, it’s important to marry the two, if they (boxers) are allowed to play in the Olympics. The professionals and the ABAP should really be talking together and planning the journey of boxers, rather than they planning it alone,” said Vargas.

Marcial has been training while in quarantine at home for the last three months, in Imus, Cavite. He has been getting offers to fight abroad, following invitations from international fight promoters in the United States and in the United Kingdom.

The 24-year-old Marcial, who earned a qualifying slot with Irish Magno, has been continuously getting ready for the Tokyo Olympics.

And he has been doing so since he earned a qualifying slot  last March in the 2020 Asia/Oceania boxing qualifying tournament in Amman, Jordan.

Vargas said they are looking into two scenarios involving this situation, which was not possible since the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, which was  the first time in history that organizers are allow to let professional boxers to compete among amateurs.

The ABAP chief said these pro boxers will need to qualify for the Olympics, or any international amateur meet that will open their doors to them.

This situation does not follow what went on with Marcial, who qualified for the Olympics first.

In the second situation, the ABAP will have to look into the situation involving the contracts for the pros, and they will be allowed to level down.

On the other hand, Picson said many boxers under the ABAP’s care are now getting feels from professionals who are seeking to come back as amateurs.

“Marami ngang bumabalik na galing sa pagka pro,” said Picson.

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