IF the 32nd Southeast Asian Games next month are part of Ernest John “EJ” Obiena’s outdoor season program, they’re not for Tokyo Olympics boxing bronze medalist Eumir Felix Marcial.
But Marcial will be in Cambodia not to box, but to cheer his fellow athletes.
“I will be in Cambodia to support our athletes as the Philippines’ No. 1 supporter,” said the 27-year-old four-time SEA Games middleweight champion Marcial. “I believe my fellow athletes will be successful in bringing home a lot of gold medals.”
The Cambodia SEA Games in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap are set May 5 to 17.
Marcial’s right knuckle has yet to fully recover. It’s a recurring injury and was aggravated during his last professional fight which he won via second-round technical knockout over Ricard Villalba in San Antonio, Texas, last February.
“I need one more month before hitting the mitts and the bag but I’m doing some extra workout like jogging to stay in shape before returning to the US to prepare for my next fight,” he said.
Marcial will be with his wife Princess, a former national boxer, during the entire duration of the boxing competitions.
“He [Marcial] will be there to support the athletes,” Philippine Olympic Committee President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said.
A total of 840 Filipino athletes are competing in 608 events in 38 sports in Cambodia.