Unfortunate Deaths in the Ring Within the Last 10 Years

Jorge Alarcon-SwabyCorrespondent IAugust 7, 2011

Unfortunate Deaths in the Ring Within the Last 10 Years

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    In the sport of boxing, injuries are part of the game. There have been some very scary-looking injuries in boxing, injuries from which fighters have been able to recover and live on to fight another day. Unfortunately, for some fighters, the injuries and damage sustained in the ring have resulted in their untimely deaths.

    Here is a list of courageous fighters that the sport has sadly lost in the last 10 years.  

Pedro Alcazar

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    In 2002, 26-year-old flyweight Alcazar entered the ring against Fernando Montiel and suffered a sixth-round TKO. In the video you can see that Alcazar was conscious and stable. Unfortunately, 36 hours later in his hotel room, Alcazar collapsed to the floor and was later pronounced dead.  

Cho Hi

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    In 2008, 22-year-old Cho Hi was stopped in the sixth round of his bout against Daichi Sakoda. After the stoppage Cho Hi was carried away on a stretcher to the hospital, where he died after undergoing surgery for blood clots.

Becky Zerlentes

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    In 2005, 35-year-old female amateur boxer Zerlentes fought against Heather Schmitz in a Colorad Senior Female Championships bout.  In Round 3 Zerlentes was hit with a punch and fell unconscious. When rushed to the hospital, Zerlentes died from blunt force trauma to the head. It was the first case of a female boxer dying in the United States.  

Benjamín Flores

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    In 2009, 24-year-old Flores fought against Al Seeger. In the eighth round, after reaching his corner, Flores collapsed and was taken out on a stretcher. He would later be pronounced dead from a brain injury sustained in the fight.

Brad Rone

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    In 2003, the 34-year-old Rone faced Billy Zumburn, a fighter who had already beaten him before. Zumbrun landed several punches on Rone towards the end of the first round, and as Rone was walking towards his corner, he collapsed and died instantly.

    (The video provided is a documentary of that fight and provides more details.) 

Martín Sánchez

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    In 2002, the 26-year-old Sánchez suffered a ninth-round knockout loss to Rustam Nugaev. Sánchez seemed fine after the fight, but later, after being examined in the locker room, he was rushed to the hospital and had emergency surgery for a subdural hematoma. He unfortunately died the following morning. 

Daniel Aguillón

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    The 24-year-old Aguillón was a Mexican featherweight boxer who suffered a tremendous punch in his bout against Alejandro Sanabria in 2008. The punch (first one of the video provided) put Aguillón into a coma from which he unfortunately died five days later. 

Leavander Johnson

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    In 2005, 35-year-old Atlantic City lightweight Johnson faced Mexican fighter Jesús Chávez. The fight was stopped in the 11th round after Johnson was caught with continuous hard punches. At the time of the stoppage, Johnson is seen not agreeing with the ref's decision.

    Johnson looked normal and was able to walk out of the ring himself, but later collapsed in the locker room and was rushed to the hospital for surgery of swelling and bleeding on the brain. He survived the surgery but would remain in critical condition. He was pronounced dead on September 22, 2005.

Yo-Sam Choi

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    In 2007, the 35-year-old Choi defended his WBO Flyweight title against Hari Amoi. At the closing seconds of the 12th round, Choi was knocked down. However, he was able to beat the count and went on the win a unanimous decision.

    Unfortunately, Choi fell to ground while still inside of the ring and had to be rushed to the hospital, where he had immediate surgery. Choi was pronounced brain- dead seven days later and passed away the following day after being removed from a ventilator. 

Closing Thoughts

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    A lot of times, boxing fans can be heard calling fighters cowards or even quitters. Realize that it's easy to speak that way from the comfort of your home. It takes tremendous courage to choose such a violent path as a way to provide for your family.

    Unfortunately, some fighters have sadly paid the ultimate prize. Next time you see a fight, please think twice before throwing insults at a fighter. He might have a reason for his actions, a reason that, unknowingly to you, might haved saved his life.