By turning pro under the care of boxing great Manny Pacquiao, the head of the amateur boxing body believes Olympic-bound Eumir Marcial has made the right decision as he continues his drive to succeed in the Tokyo Games as well as to become world champ in the professional ranks.
"He's in good hands with Sen. Pacquiao," Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines head Ricky Vargas told veteran Camille Naredo of ABS-CBN the other day.
"I am very happy for him," Vargas said "(I) wished him well and said he can now focus on his career."
Despite this latest career move, Marcial will still represent the Philippines in the Tokyo Olympics next year, having qualified by ruling the middleweight division in the Asia and Oceania Olympic qualifying tournament last March.
Marcial has said that his goal is to be an Olympic gold medalist as well as a world champion.
"Gaya po ng aking naipangako, ibibigay ko ang lahat ng aking makakaya para makuha ang minimithi natin na Olympic gold medal at maging isang boxing world champion ilang taon mula ngayon," he said.
Vargas, meanwhile, guaranteed that Marcial continues to enjoy the full support of ABAP, even as a professional.
"I reiterated ABAP's all-out support on his quest for the Olympic medal, and told him he is always welcome to our training camp," he said.
"If he needs any help from his ABAP family and coaches, (we) will be there for him always," he added. "I also thanked him for his commitment to train hard and represent our country in the Olympics."
Vargas has previously expressed his confidence that Marcial can reach the podium in the Tokyo Olympics -- and even possibly win a gold medal.
"I think Eumir has a 90% chance to bring home a medal, and an 80% chance to bring the gold," he said.
Aside from Marcial, Irish Magno has also qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in the women's flyweight division. At least four other boxers -- including world champion Nesthy Petecio -- are still seeking their tickets to the Olympic Games.