Philippines' Eumir Marcial reacts as he fights Algeria's Younes Nemouchi during their men's middle (69-75kg) preliminaries round of 16 boxing match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo on July 29, 2021. (Photo by Luis ROBAYO / POOL / AFP)

FILE – The Philippines’ Eumir Marcial reacts as he fights Algeria’s Younes Nemouchi during their men’s middle (69-75kg) preliminaries round of 16 boxing match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo on July 29, 2021. (Photo by Luis ROBAYO / POOL / AFP)

HANOI—Eumir Felix Marcial has been choosing between the lure of a lucrative pro career and the chase for Olympic glory for quite some time. And he’s getting more and more comfortable doing it.

The Olympic bronze medalist has taken what he described as “first step toward Paris,” by making the finals of the 31st Southeast Asian Games 75-kilogram division.

And as soon as it’s over—without looking past fellow knockout artist Delio Anzaqezi of East Timor—he’s planning on flying back to the United States to start preparing for his third pro fight.

“I can go straight to US, maybe have a vacation and then fight,” said Marcial in Filipino. “It all depends on sir Sean (Gibbons, president of MP Promotions).”

The 26-year-old Marcial was coming off a dismal showing in the pros where he struggled to get past Isaiah Hart last April.

“That’s what our coaches were trying to address when I came to the (SEA Games) training camp,” said Marcial. “We worked on weaving, bobbing. Whole training camp that’s what we worked on, defense.”

Against Hart, Marcial suffered stunning knockdowns before pulling off a technical knockout victory.

He’d need that learning on Sunday in the gold medal bout against Anzaqeci at Bac Ninh Gymnasium, some two hours from here. In their semifinal bout, the Timorese knocked Cambodia’s Hun Kimheang senseless.

“I’m confident because he’s a southpaw and I’m comfortable fight southpaws,” said Marcial who took a bye to the semis and was largely unscathed going into the finals.

“I like my chance (on Sunday) but we don’t have the say in the decision. So I will just do my best out there for my fourth (SEA Games) gold,” added Marcial.

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