Tributes paid to boxer Patrick Day who died days after bout

17 October 2019, 17:23

Patrick Day (red trunks) and Charles Conwell (black trunks) box during a USBA Super-Welterweight boxing match at Wintrust Arena
Patrick Day (red trunks) and Charles Conwell (black trunks) box during a USBA Super-Welterweight boxing match at Wintrust Arena. Picture: PA

By Sylvia DeLuca

Tributes have been pouring in for American boxer Patrick Day who has died at the age of 27 - four days after suffering a brain injury in a boxing fight.

Patrick Day was rushed to hospital on Saturday after he was knocked out in the 10th round in a fight against Charles Conwell in Chicago.

His promoter Lou DiBella says he died on Wednesday surrounded by his family and close friends.

"He was a son, brother, and good friend to many," said a statement.

"Pat's kindness, positivity, and generosity of spirit made a lasting impression with everyone he met."

Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn tweeted he was "devastated" describing him as a "charming young man".

Following news that Day was in a critical condition, boxing opponent Conwell penned an emotional letter in which he said he "never meant for this to happen" and revealed he had considered quitting boxing.

"If I could take it all back I would," the 21-year-old American said.

"No-one deserves this to happen to them. I replay the fight over and over in my head thinking what if this never happened and why did it happen to you," Conwell said.

"I can't stop thinking about it myself. I prayed for you so many times and shed so many tears because I couldn't even imagine how my family and friends would feel."

Promoter DiBella discussed how the sport of boxing might respond to Day's death.

"It becomes very difficult to explain away or justify the dangers of boxing at a time like this," he 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," DiBella said.

"Patrick Day didn't need to box," DiBella's statement continued, "He came from a good family, he was smart, educated, had good values and had other avenues available to him to earn a living.

"He chose to box, knowing the inherent risks that every fighter faces when he or she walks into a boxing ring.

"Boxing is what Pat loved to do. It's how he inspired people and it was something that made him feel alive."

Patrick Day's death is the fourth boxing death of 2019.

Earlier this year Russian Maxim Dadashev and Hugo Alfredo Santillan from Argentina died in July, while Bulgarian Boris Stanchov passed away following a fight in September.