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British boxer Scott Westgarth dies after earning decision victory in the ring

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A British boxer died early Sunday after he fell ill following a light-heavyweight bout Saturday night in Doncaster, England. The British Boxing Board of Control told the Press Association that Scott Westgarth, 31, had been taken to a local hospital after collapsing in the locker room following his 10-round decision victory over Dec Spellman.

“It’s terrible for the sport and terrible for the family, and we send our condolences to Scott’s family,” British Boxing chief Robert Smith told Reuters.

Stefy Bull, Westgarth’s promoter for the bout, also confirmed his death early Monday morning:

According to various reports, Westgarth appeared uncomfortable during a post-bout television interview conducted before he went to the locker room, holding his head and appearing to wince in pain.

“I will box anyone,” he said during the interview, per the New York Post. “I do it for the fun, not because I think I am going to be world-class fighter — I just do it purely for entertainment, and I am just glad we could put on a show and keep everyone entertained.”

Both Westgarth and Spellman had been knocked down during the fight.

According to Reuters, Westgarth is the first boxer to die as a result of a boxing match since Canada’s Tim Hague died two days after a fight in June. Hague reportedly suffered a brain hemorrhage after he was knocked down multiple times during a bout against former Canadian Football League player Adam Braidwood.

“This is a tough tough sport and we try to make it as safe as possible but you can’t make it 100 percent safe,” Smith told Reuters. “But that doesn’t take away from the fact that this is a disaster, but more importantly it’s a disaster for his family and that’s the most important thing.”

A GoFundMe page has been established to raise money for Westgarth’s family. He’s at left in the photo below:

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