A popular Australian boxer died Saturday after a freak accident during a sparring session, his team confirmed.
Dwight Ritchie, 27, collapsed while training in Melbourne with light middleweight Michael Zerefa, 27, for a match next month, The Sun reported.
After getting hit with a body shot, Ritchie reportedly walked over to his corner, fell over and could not be revived.
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His promoter, Jake Ellis, confirmed the news on Facebook.
“It is with great sadness and shock to announce that the fighting cowboy Dwight Ritchie sadly passed away today doing what he loved,” his statement read. “Dwight will always be remembered by the boxing fraternity as one of the brightest talents in Australia ….”
Boxing commentator Ben Damon told Fox Sports News that Zerefa was “devastated” by the loss of his close friend.
“For him to end a sparring session with a body shot and his partner to head back to his corner and then to collapse, it was just devastating for Michael and everyone else,” News.com.au quoted him as saying.
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Ritchie, a super welterweight, was born in Shepparton in northern Victoria and overcame cancer twice as a young child, the New York Post reported. He is survived by his three children.