Each time a fighter bravely enters the ring, they essentially put their life on the line. Fortunately, most of these courageous boxers return home unscathed to their loved ones after the final bell rings and the matches conclude.
Although it is rare, some individuals have experienced devastating consequences while participating in boxing matches. Unfortunately, for a small group, the implications of a career in prizefighting have been fatal.
It has been revealed that between 1890 and 2011, 1,604 boxers lost their lives due to injuries sustained in the ring, averaging 13 deaths per year. The data also showed 233 boxing-related deaths occurred in the 1920s, with fewer safety regulations, while 103 fatalities were recorded in the 2000s.
Perishing in the ring is a greater tragedy and agony, as these athletes remain conscious and upright while death slowly consumes them in their struggle. A death in the boxing ring can bring about immeasurable misery, especially when the cause is injury-related, as you can imagine.
However, there are instances where it is purely accidental. In such cases, it strikes so abruptly that the person never anticipates it until it's too late, and within seconds, they are no longer of this world.
This article will pay tribute to some of the boxers who passed away while competing in the ring, pursuing their passion for boxing. May they rest in peace. These individuals, who met their untimely demise, are a sad reminder of the dangers of boxing.
1. Frankie Campbell
The American heavyweight boxer, Frankie Campbell, was a highly skilled athlete who, unfortunately, remains relatively unknown among boxing enthusiasts. Despite participating in 40 professional matches and emerging victorious in 33, Campbell's career was cut short during his final bout against Max Baer.
In a devastating turn of events, Baer delivered a fatal blow to Campbell's chin during the second round, resulting in his immediate death. This tragedy remains one of the most poignant moments in the sport's history.
2. Choi Yo-Sam
In 1993, the Korean boxing sensation decided to go pro and quickly gained worldwide recognition for his extraordinary fighting abilities and natural talent. He rose to fame in 1999, claiming both the Lineal and WBC light flyweight championship titles.
His final match occurred in 2007, where he intended to defend his WBO Intercontinental flyweight title. Unfortunately, during the twelfth round, he collapsed and suffered a fatal brain injury, despite winning the fight and retaining his title.
3. Jimmy Doyle
Our following featured individual is Jimmy Doyle, an American boxer who competed in the welterweight division. Jimmy gained notoriety for his unstoppable punching prowess and was well on his way to becoming one of the top professionals in the sport.
Unfortunately, fate had other plans for him, as he suffered a severe head injury during a match against Sugar Ray Robinson in 1947. Despite being rushed to the hospital, Jimmy passed away after spending 17 critical hours under medical care.
4. Patrick Day
The late American professional boxer Patrick Day fought his first bout in 2013, where he made an epic show after winning the bout. Later on, he continued good performance and won 17 matches from a total of 22.
In his fight against Charles Conwell, Patrick suffered a brain injury due to a severe punch on the head from the opponent, forcing him to get into the hospital. But the damage was sustained, and he died from it.
5. Davey Moore
Davey Moore was one of the blistering talents of the 20th century and won the world championship during his career. In his 68 professional boxing bouts, he won 59 out of them, making him one of the most successful boxers in history.
In 1963, his fight against Sugar Ramos was the last match of his career because he received a head injury during the bout, which cost his life, and his career ended.
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6. Musa Yamak
The recent passing of Musa Yamak, a German professional boxer, has sent global shockwaves. Yamak had an impressive record of 8 victories in his previous matches, but unfortunately, he met his match in Hamza Wandera.
During the second round of their fight, Yamak was dealt a brutal blow to the head, causing him to collapse in the ring. The referee quickly halted the match, and Yamak was rushed to the hospital, later pronounced dead.
7. Angelo Jacopucci
Angelo, a boxer from Italy, referred to himself as the "clay of the poor." He achieved the continental middleweight championship but was subsequently stripped of it. He tried to regain the title in July 1978, but he perished during the endeavor. During the 12-round altercation, Jacopucci dropped his guard, resulting in his adversary landing frequent blows on his face.
The referee and line doctor was unaware of his condition until he collapsed on the mat, leading them to declare a K.O., although they should have stopped the bout earlier. After falling ill, he was quickly taken to the hospital and slipped into a coma. Angelo Jacopucci passed away at the young age of 29. His death prompted changes in regulations for the European title, including a reduction in rounds and a ban on hosting matches in remote locations that are more than an hour away from neurological centers.
The aforementioned individuals were renowned boxers who passed away while competing, and their absence will be deeply felt. Undoubtedly, professional boxing is not a pastime for those lacking bravery. Stepping into the ring requires immense courage, as boxers are uncertain whether they will exit on a stretcher on their own two feet.