LONDON: Scottish boxer Mike Towell has died in hospital after being seriously hurt in a fight, his management company confirmed yesterday. The 25-year-old Dundee fighter was stretchered from the ring following a fifth-round loss to Welshman Dale Evans in a St Andrews Sporting Club fight at a Glasgow hotel on Thursday. He was taken by ambulance to the city’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, but in the early hours of yesterday his management team said he had died with his family at his bedside.
“Within the last hour Mike Towell passed away-he will always be in our hearts #RIPIronMike,” St Andrews Sporting Club said on Twitter. Towell’s partner, Chloe Ross, wrote on Facebook: “I’m absolutely heartbroken to say my annoying best friend passed away tonight at 11.02 very peacefully.” Boxing trainer Shane McGuigan tweeted: “Heartbreaking news that Mike Towell has lost his life. May he rest in peace, thoughts go out to his loved ones. British promoter Eddie Hearn said: “Absolutely devastated by the passing of Mike Towell-all of our thoughts with his friends and family at this time.”
Towell was knocked down twice in the fight before referee Victor Loughlin stopped the bout in the fifth round. Towell had been unbeaten prior to the fight, a British welterweight title eliminator, with 11 wins and one draw on his professional record. Ross, the mother of Towell’s son, Rocco, said he had been “complaining of headaches for the last few weeks”. But a spokesman for St Andrews said nobody in Towell’s management team was aware of any headache problems prior to the fight.
Loughlin had also been in charge of March’s British middleweight title fight between Chris Eubank and Nick Blackwell, who had to retire after suffering a bleed on the skull during the bout. British brain injury charity Headway called for boxing to be banned in the wake of Towell’s death. “We are deeply saddened to hear of this tragic loss of life,” said Headway chief executive Peter McCabe in a statement. “Quite rightly, the focus at this time should be on supporting the family. But the question remains: how many more lives have to be damaged or lost before this senseless sport is banned?”—AFP