Tragedy struck the family of national boxing team mainstay Eumir 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 in Cavite. He was 39.
Eliver has been stranded in Eumir’s residence in Cavite since the country implemented the Luzon-wide lockdown in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He was set to take a flight on 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. He has now started his training under the tutelage of famed trainer Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, California.
“Ang parents ko, mga kapatid, lahat kami sa pamilya, bata pa lang ako talagang walang pinag-usapan kami kungdi makuha ‘yung Olympic gold. Kausap pa ni kuya si Princess (Eumir’s fiancée) kagabi. Sabi niya sana makuha ko na ang Olympic gold tapos maging world champion ako,” disclosed Marcial, the youngest of five siblings.
“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.”
Eumir’s girlfriend Princess Galarpe, together with the boxer’s cousin Anthony, rushed Eliver to the Ospital ng Imus minutes after he vomited and experienced difficulty breathing early Saturday.
“Nagsalu-salo na kami lahat kagabi kasi nga pauwi na siya. Siya pa nag-ayos lahat gamit niya, pati mga laruan para sana sa mga anak niya. Tapos ganun na nga nangyari. Tinakbo namin agad siya sa ospital pero sabi ng doctor dead on arrival na siya,” said Galarpe.
The cause of death of Eumir’s eldest brother remains undetermined as of Saturday morning. His remains will lie at Marcial’s residence in Cavite before being flown to Zamboanga.
The incident ruined what should have bee an awe-inspiring day for the Olympian Marcial. His brother’s death happened one day after he received assurance from the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) of their full support.
Marcial, who will turn 25 this Oct. 29, had a fruitful 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 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.
Marcial signed a promotional deal with Manny Pacquiao’s MP Promotions last July. He is still eligible for the Olympics since the quadrennial meet has opened its doors to professional boxers since the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
The Tokyo Olympic Games will happen July 23 to August 8, 2021.