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'A smile that lit up the room': Tributes pour in after boxer Patrick Day dies from brain injuries

Day was knocked out in the 10th round during his fight with Conwell and was rushed to hospital after being carried out of the ring on a stretcher

Patrick Day was a highly decorated amateur and was ranked in the top-10 as a professional by the WBC and IBF. Reuters
Patrick Day was a highly decorated amateur and was ranked in the top-10 as a professional by the WBC and IBF. Reuters

Tributes have been pouring in from the boxing community after fighter Patrick Day died four days after sustaining a traumatic brain injury during his bout with Charles Conwell in Chicago.

Day, who was 27 when he died, was knocked out in the 10th round during his super-welterweight fight with Conwell and was rushed to hospital after being carried out of the ring on a stretcher. The American had been in a coma for four days following emergency brain surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, but was unable to recover.

"Patrick Day passed away today, October 16, 2019, succumbing to the traumatic brain injury he suffered in his fight this past Saturday, October 12, at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, IL," his promoter Lou DiBella said in a statement

"He was surrounded by his family, close friends and members of his boxing team, including his mentor, friend and trainer Joe Higgins.

"On behalf of Patrick's family, team, and those closest to him, we are grateful for the prayers, expressions of support and outpouring of love for Pat that have been so obvious since his injury."

Since the news of his death was announced, various members of the boxing community have expressed their sorrow, with promoter Eddie Hearn writing on Twitter: "Devastated to hear the news of the passing of Patrick Day.

"What a charming young man with a dream and a smile that lit up the room. Our deepest prayers are with his family, his trainer Joe Higgins, Charles Conwell and promoter Lou DiBella."

The World Boxing Council (WBC), with whom Day was ranked in the top-10, said on Twitter: "Patrick Day was always kind, happy and an exceptional good man who was outstandingly passionate about boxing. We will always remember you for all of that."

Lightweight prospect Ryan Garcia, wrote: "Rip Patrick Day. God bless your soul, prayers go out to your family and friends. I know it's a hard time for all you, sending my love."

Middleweight world champion Gennadiy Golovkin wrote: Our deepest condolences to the family, friends and the team of Patrick Day. Rest in peace Pat."

Before turning professional, Day was a highly decorated amateur who won two nationals titles.

He turned pro in 2013 and became a world-rated super welterweight contender, capturing the WBC Continental Americas championship in 2017 and the IBF Intercontinental championship in 2019. In June he was rated in the top-10 by both the WBC and IBF.

Day's death comes after 23-year-old Argentine super lightweight Hugo Santillan died in July from injuries suffered in the ring and 28-year-old Russian Maxim Dadashev passed away two day earlier from brain injuries during his fight.

"It becomes very difficult to explain away or justify the dangers of boxing at a time like this," DiBella said. "This is not a time where edicts or pronouncements are appropriate, or the answers are readily available. It is, however, a time for a call to action.

"While we don't have the answers, we certainly know many of the questions, have the means to answer them, and have the opportunity to respond responsibly and accordingly and make boxing safer for all who participate.

"This is a way we can honor the legacy of Pat Day. Many people live much longer than Patrick's 27 years, wondering if they made a difference or positively affected their world. This was not the case for Patrick Day when he left us.

"Rest in peace and power, Pat, with the angels."

Updated: October 17, 2019 08:47 AM

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