In a tragic turn of events, Australian middleweight boxer Dwight Ritchie collapsed and died after taking a body shot while sparring with Michael Zerefa on Saturday.
According to Sydney’s Daily Telegraph he was sparring in Melbourne with Zerefa, who was preparing for his rematch with former WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn.
Ritchie held a 19-2 record and was known as “The Fighting Cowboy”.
Ritchie’s promoter Jake Ellis expressed condolences on his Facebook account while confirming the shocking news.
“It is with great sadness and shock to announce that the fighting cowboy Dwight Ritchie sadly passed away today doing what he loved. As Dwight’s promoter and friend it’s unbearable to accept the tragic news that’s just surfaced. Dwight will always be remembered by the boxing fraternity as one of the brightest talents in Australia who’s fighting style embodied exactly how he lived. RIP Cowboy you’ll be forever missed ❤️” he wrote.
His last fight was back in August for the IBF Australasian super welterweight title where he lost to Tim Tszyu by a unanimous decision. “I am truly saddened by the passing of Dwight Richie,” Tszyu posted on Instagram. “Only fighters understand the bond shared between them, especially those who shared a ring together. Rest In Peace to a true champion.”
Ritchie is the fourth boxer in 2019 to have died in the ring. Less than a month ago, an American boxer Patrick Day died after losing to Charles Conwell in Chicago due to brain injury. Argentina’s Hugo Santillan died in July following a bout in San Nicolas while two days prior to his death, Russian boxer Maxim Dadashev also passed away due to injuries he sustained during a bout.