American boxer Omar Henry, who was undefeated in 13 career fights, died on Friday after a brief battle with gall bladder cancer, according to Jake Donovan of BoxingScene.com. He was 25.
Henry was on the verge of breaking into the mainstream boxing spotlight after a 12-0-1 start to his professional career. The Chicago native also had a terrific amateur career, where he first showed off his tremendous potential.
He clearly made an impact on his fellow boxers. Upon hearing the news, one of the sport's biggest superstars, Floyd Mayweather Jr., posted his condolences on Twitter:
Damn this is messed up. 25 years old and dies of cancer? RIP to my brother Omar Henry. This is messed up.— Floyd Mayweather (@FloydMayweather) February 1, 2013
Henry made his final in-ring appearance back in June, defeating Tyrone Selders by unanimous decision. It was a dominant performance that saw him win all 10 rounds on every judge's scorecard, as reported by BoxRec.com.
He was scheduled to fight again in November, but wasn't able to after the illness that would eventually take his life was discovered. It was a shocking turn of events for one of boxing's brightest young talents.
Henry provided an updated on his condition just a few days ago on Facebook. He vowed to keep fighting, but sadly was unable to overcome cancer. An except of his statement is below. Click the Facebook link to read it in its entirety.
I am a champion who has chosen to fight not just for myself but for those who's faith is believing in what u cant see, and i will continue to fight!!!!!and fight!!!!!and fight!!!!!till I knock this sickness out. Your love and support mean the most to me, your prayers are prayers not only to me but to others like me.
Even though the casual boxing fan might not have heard about Henry, it's a huge loss for the boxing community. He was a rising star, and it's unfortunate that he never got an opportunity to reach his truly immense potential.
Henry spent the final three months of his life battling cancer in a hometown hospital. Although he was unable to make the full recovery boxing fans were desperately hoping for, there's no doubt he fought the entire way.