Boxing is touted as the noble art of self-defense. And while the game’s regulators demand that practitioners wear a hand or wrist wrap as a form of protection, injuries and deaths do occur.
In the case of amateur boxers they are required to wear boxing helmets.
The helmets in boxing and other contact sports like American football or cycling is to protect the face and the cranium against weighted blows. Even with a full-protection helmet, a boxer can lose consciousness by receiving a kick or an uppercut to the jaw or in the eyes. This is called the knockout or K.O. During a major impact, the brain can “slip” into the skull causing damage to the brain tissue.
And the family of American boxer, Patrick Day has had to find out the hard way when the 27-year-old died four days after a bout from head injuries sustained during his fight against Charles Conwell in Chicago on Saturday.
Day was put into a coma and underwent emergency brain surgery after being knocked out in the 10th round of the super welterweight bout.
“Patrick Day passed away today, succumbing to the traumatic brain injury he suffered in his fight this past Saturday, October 12, at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, IL,” a statement on his website signed by promoter Lou DiBella read.
Prior to the 10th round knockout, Day had visited the canvass twice. When he finally fell, the physicians on hand tried reviving him before being taken to the hospital.
The statement added Day loved to box although he came from a wealthy home. “He chose to box, knowing the inherent risks that every fighter faces when he or she walks into a boxing ring. Boxing is what Pat loved to do. It’s how he inspired people and it was something that made him feel alive.”
His opponent Conwell wished it was all a dream, noting in an Instagram post: “I never meant this to happen to you, all I wanted to do was win. If I could take it all back, I would. No-one deserves this to happen to them.”
Following Day’s death, Face2Face Africa digs into the archives to look at other black boxers who died in the line of duty.