Champion Australian boxer Dwight Ritchie has died in a freak accident after he was punched within the abdomen throughout coaching.
The 27-year-old was sparring with Michael Zerafa on Saturday night time in Melbourne when he took a physique shot earlier than strolling to his nook of the ring and collapsing.
Ritchie, from Shepparton in Victoria, solely misplaced twice in his 21-fight profession, most not too long ago in opposition to Tim Tszyu after they fought for the IBF Australasian super-welterweight title in August.
Ritchie had been the holder of that belt going into the bout, and in addition beforehand held the Australian middleweight title.
His promoter and pal Jake Ellis introduced the tragic information in a heartfelt tribute on Fb.
‘It’s with nice disappointment and shock to announce that ‘The Preventing Cowboy’ Dwight Ritchie sadly handed away immediately doing what he liked,’ the submit learn.
‘Dwight will all the time be remembered by the boxing fraternity as one of many brightest skills in Australia whose preventing type embodied precisely how he lived.
‘RIP Cowboy you’ll be endlessly missed.’
Ritchie was serving to Zerafa practice for his upcoming rematch with Jeff Horn when the incident occurred, the Sydney Morning Herald reviews.
He was additionally making ready for mild middleweight battle in opposition to Tommy Browne, 36, in December.
Fellow boxers flocked to social media to pay tribute.
Billy Dib wrote: ‘I am unable to consider the information of Dwight Ritchie’s passing. RIP.’
‘Simply gutted to listen to of the passing of boxer Dwight Ritchie in a sparring accident immediately,’ Renee Gartner tweeted.
‘Ideas with all of his household and buddies and the boxing neighborhood,’ she wrote.
Group Ellis Boxing, the place Ritchie began out, have arrange a gofundme to boost cash to help his three daughters – which drew nearly $5000 in its first 4 hours.
In December 2017 Ritchie gained the vacant IBF Australasian tremendous welterweight belt.
A proud Aboriginal man, he credit boxing with protecting him away from a lifetime of crime.
‘If I wasn’t a boxer I’d be in jail, 100 p.c. The issues I used to be getting as much as as a child,’ he wrote for the Gamers Voice in August.
‘We simply had no course and we had been following that very same cycle that was round us then, the identical traps everybody else was getting caught in.
‘I used to be fortunate I discovered boxing, as a result of with out it there’s little doubt in my thoughts that I’d be locked up proper now as an alternative of within the health club making ready for a battle in opposition to Tim Tszyu, nonetheless engaged on my dream of a world title shot’.
He additionally beat childhood most cancers, first at six months then once more a 12 months later, to turn into knowledgeable athlete in his grownup years.
Supply: Day by day Mail UK