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Emir Marcial and Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach at Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles. Photo: Emir Marcial/Facebook

Tragedy strikes Filipino boxing prospect Eumir Felix Marcial after elder brother dies suddenly

  • Eliver Marcial, the eldest of the Marcial siblings, collapses and dies on Saturday after having difficulty breathing
  • Eumir Felix Marcial will remain in the United States to continue his training with Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach

Just days after settling in the United States to prepare for his pro career and next year’s Tokyo Games, tragedy has struck Filipino boxing prospect Eumir Felix Marcial, whose elder brother suddenly died in the Philippines.

Marcial recently was celebrating his arrival in Los Angeles, where he is under the tutelage of Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach at Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood. Marcial was given the devastating news of the death of his brother early on Saturday. Eliver Marcial, the eldest of the Marcial siblings, died in the Philippines after collapsing, although it is unclear what was the cause of his death. Eliver Marcial was 39.

Eumir Felix Martial throws a right against Mongolia’s Byamba-Erdene Otgonbaatar during his Olympic qualifying bout in Amman, Jordan in March. Photo: EPA

Eumir Felix Marcial, who is hoping to become the first Filipino Olympic gold medallist after impressing in the Asia-Pacific Olympic trials held earlier this year in Amman, Jordan, was devastated upon hearing the news. Considered the next Manny Pacquiao as a huge middleweight prospect, Marcial posted on his Facebook a tribute to his brother, saying Eliver inspired him to chase his dreams.

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“My parents, siblings, we are all in the family, when I was young we really talked about nothing but getting the Olympic gold. My older brother even talked to Princess [Eumir’s fiancée] last night. He said I wish I could get the Olympic gold and then I will be a world champion, ” said Marcial, who is the youngest of five siblings and turns 25 on October 29.

Eumir Felix Marcial shows his ticket after qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics. Photo: Philippine Athletes at Multi Sport Event

“I’m just here first because there is nothing I can do about what happened. I became even more inspired by my brother. This is also what he wants, I will be ready for the Olympics,” added Marcial who also said he hopes to bond with his brother in his dreams.

Eliver Marcial was stranded in Eumir’s residence in Cavite since the Philippines implemented a lockdown in March owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and was supposed to take a flight on Saturday to return to his hometown in Zamboanga to be with his wife and six kids. According to reports, Eliver was rushed to hospital after he experienced difficulty in breathing early on Saturday.

Tokyo 2020: emotional Eumir Felix Marcial dedicates Olympic berth to his father after Filipino star fulfils a lifelong dream

Eumir Felix Marcial has decided to remain in the United States to continue his training after turning down an offer to return to the Philippines through his management company, MP Promotions. Marcial is eligible to compete in the Olympics as the Games have allowed professional boxers to compete since the 2016 Rio Olympics. Marcial signed a promotional deal with Manny Pacquiao’s MP Promotions last July and is considered the Philippines’ most promising Olympic medal hope.

Eliver’s death happened just one day after Eumir was assured by the Philippine Sports Commission of their full support in his dreams of winning Olympic gold.