Tyson Fury, others pay tribute to Sherif Lawal who died after collapsing during his first professional fight

Stephen Nartey May 14, 2024
Sherif Lawal. Photo credit: Warren Boxing Management

Tributes have been pouring in from boxing greats for Sherif Lawal who passed away after collapsing during his first professional fight against Malam Varela at Harrow Leisure Centre in London.

Tyson Fury and others paid tribute to Lawal, who lost consciousness after being struck on the temple on Sunday. Referee Lee Every halted the fight upon realizing the severity of Lawal’s condition, but unfortunately, he could not be saved, according to Daily Mail.

Lawal was provided medical attention by ringside doctors and paramedics following his collapse. CPR was administered, and a defibrillator was utilized in an attempt to revive him. He was transported to Northwick Park Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

The remaining matches on the card were canceled. Fury, who is set to compete against Oleksandr Usyk in an undisputed heavyweight title bout in Saudi Arabia, took a moment to pay tribute to Lawal amidst his preparations for the upcoming match.

The Gypsy King said “Rest in peace. poor fella. We all know the dangers of getting in the ring. The dangers of having our brains knocked out. We’re not in there to tickle each other to death. We are there to do serious damage to each other. It’s what we’re paid for. I’ve known the risks all my life. You know that if it’s your time to die it’s destiny.”

A witness told The Sun: “It’s unbelievably sad. This was his pro debut – he has died while chasing his dream.

“His fight was first on the card, but the event was cancelled and the remaining three fights scrapped after Sherif was taken to hospital. That tells you how serious it was.

“He was hurt at the end of round three. He then came out for the fourth and final round with his guard up, and took a right to the temple.”

“He dropped to his haunches and the referee started a count to ten – but then stopped and waved it off because he could see Sherif was in a bad way.

“Doctors arrived and worked on him in the ring for about 20 minutes, including CPR and the use of a defibrillator.

“This was in front of a packed house, and everyone was in total shock.

“Sherif was then taken away on a stretcher before news came through later that he had passed away.”

Hailing from Islington, Lawal has been actively involved in boxing since 2018. He participated in the National Elite Championships last year before making the transition to professional boxing earlier this year.

In a statement, Warren Boxing Management said: “Last night, Sherif Lawal was making his debut at a show at Harrow Leisure Centre, in which our boxer Courtney Bennett was scheduled to fight.

“Unfortunately during Sherif’s fight, he collapsed and despite the best efforts of the paramedics, he was later pronounced dead.

“Warren Boxing Management would like to send our condolences to all of Sherif’s family, friends, coaches and all those close to him at this tragic time.”

Costakis Evangelou, the promoter of the Clash of the Titans event, told The Sun: “This was a tragic incident and my profound sympathies go out to Sherif’s family.

“It’s a difficult time for everyone involved in the boxing fraternity and we’re trying to absorb what’s happened. No one wants to see something like this in any sport.

“Sherif was a great boxer and man. It’s now in the hands of the Board and they’re going to assess the incident.”

Writing on X, fellow boxer Denzel Bentley paid tribute to Lawal, writing: “Went to a boxing show last night and a young man making his debut lost his life.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: May 14, 2024

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