Manny Pacquiao probably sees a bit of himself when he signed Philippines Olympic gold medal prospect Eumir Felix Marcial to his stable this week to much hullabaloo. The 24-year-old Marcial has turned professional and couldn’t think of a better stable to work under than the eight-weight division world champion Pacquiao’s banner – MP Promotions. It boasts three world champions – WBO bantamweight John Riel Casimero, IBF super flyweight Jerwin Ancajas and IBF minimumweight Pedro Taduran. Middleweight stand-out Marcial, who hails from Zamboanga City, signed a six-year promotional deal. Southpaw Marcial – like Pacquiao – could be the jewel in the crown in Pacquiao’s stable, judging by his performances in the amateur ranks. The man they call the “new Pacquiao” is expected to make his professional debut this autumn in the US, but the tall (1.73m), stocky Marcial is keeping a promise to his father, Eulalio, that he will compete in next year’s Tokyo Games, aiming to make history as the Philippines’ first Olympic gold medallist in any sport. Tokyo 2020: emotional Eumir Felix Marcial dedicates Olympic berth to his father after Filipino star fulfils a lifelong dream Marcial, who was the star at the Asia-Pacific Olympic qualifiers in Amman, Jordan in March, where he punched his ticket to Tokyo by winning all four of his bouts, was thrilled to have Pacquiao in his corner, saying the Philippines icon has been his idol since he began boxing. “I have seen the tremendous opportunities that senator Pacquiao and MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons have given to so many Filipino boxers,” said Marcial, who won silver at last year’s Aiba world championships in Ekaterinburg, Russia. “I feel working under the MP Promotions banner will give me the best opportunity as I prepare for the Tokyo Olympics and my professional career.” Top Filipino middleweight Eumir Felix Marcial assured the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) that winning the gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics remains his main priority. #PSCinthenews #parasainangbayan #IAmSportsPositive https://t.co/LwRaLWvXSc — Philippine Sports Commission (@psc_gov) April 16, 2020 While showing gratitude to his family and fiancée Princess Galarpe, Marcial also thanked his fans for their support through the years. “Thank you to all Filipino sports fans who have shown me endless support from the time I won my first gold medal in 2011 at the Aiba Youth World Championship. Eumir Marcial’s girlfriend says he is no Manny Pacquiao, but he’s the next big thing in Filipino boxing as he eyes Olympic glory “You have inspired me and I pledge to you that I will always give it my all to achieve our goal of winning for the Philippines its first Olympic gold medal next year at Tokyo 2021 and becoming the first middleweight world champion from the Philippines. A million thanks and ‘Mabuhay!’ to all the Filipino athletes. “People have expectations of me since I won the world youth in 2011. I will absorb all this pressure and use it as motivation in my training,” he said. Marcial is the heaviest professional boxer in a country which is noted for producing much smaller fighters. The three-time SEA Games champion is unusually big for a Filipino. According to statistics, Marcial is the heaviest Filipino professional since Ceferino Garcia won the world middleweight (72.57kg/160 pounds) title in the 1930s. Manny Pacquiao 2.0? Eumir Marcial is too busy boxing his own way – 5 things to know about the Filipino Olympic hopeful If Marcial does compete as a professional in the middleweight ranks, he will find himself in the domain of superstars Gennady Golovkin (Kazakhstan) and Canelo Alvarez (Mexico) so it remains to be seen whether Marcial will scale down to a lower division. But for now, the fighter with the devastating knockout punch, is eyeing gold in Tokyo, hoping to do what even Pacquiao was unable to achieve now that professional fighters are allowed to compete in the Games.