Tragedy struck the family of boxer Eumir Felix Marcial just days into his Olympic preparations in Los Angeles, California.
Eliver Marcial, the eldest of the Marcial siblings, died after collapsing early morning of Saturday. He was 39.
Eliver, who got stranded in Eumir’s residence in Cavite since the country implemented the Luzon-wide lockdown in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was set to take a flight Saturday morning and return to their hometown in Zamboanga to be with his wife and six kids.
“Masaya pa siya noong Friday ng gabi tapos excited na yung parents ko lalo na yung asawa niya pati mga anak niya. Masakit talaga sa akin kasi close kami magkakapatid,” said a sobbing Marcial.
MP Promotions President Sean Gibbons immediately offered to arrange a flight back to the Philippines for Marcial.
But the Filipino Olympian decided to remain in the US and dedicate all his efforts to his brother as he has now started his training under the tutelage of famed trainer Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, California.
“Dito na lang muna ako kasi wala na din naman magagawa sa nangyari. Mas lalo ko naging inspirasyon kuya ko. Ito din naman ang gusto niya, maging ready ako sa Olympics,” said Marcial.
The cause of death of Eumir’s eldest brother was still undetermined as of Saturday morning. His remains will lie at Marcial’s residence in Cavite before being flown to Zamboanga.
The death happened one day after Marcial was assured by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) of their full support.
Marcial, who will turn 25 this Oct. 29, had a video conference with PSC Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez Friday morning, Manila time.
The Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) has also recently completed the needed requirements for Marcial to receive his incentive from the PSC for winning the gold in the Asian Olympic qualifier held last March in Amman, Jordan.