CHICAGO (DPA) - Professional US boxer Patrick Day has died at the age of 27, four days after being knocked out in the ring, promoter Lou DiBella said on Wednesday (Oct 16).
An unconscious Day had to be stretchered out of the ring following a fight against Charles Conwell on Saturday in Chicago, in which he took a number of direct punches. Day had to undergo brain surgery.
"He chose to box, knowing the inherent risks that every fighter faces when he or she walks into a boxing ring," DiBella said in a statement paying tribute to Day. "Boxing is what Pat loved to do." While DiBella admitted that answers to safety concerns in the sport were not "readily available," he called the death a "call to action" to "make boxing safer for all who participate.
"This is a way we can honour the legacy of Pat Day," he added.
Conwell also paid his respects in a letter addressed to his late rival posted on Twitter.
"I never meant for this to happen to you. All I ever wanted was to win," he wrote. "If I could take it all back I would." Conwell said he had considered leaving the sport but was inspired by Day's example to keep boxing, because "you were a fighter at heart."