Super welterweight boxer Patrick Day died on Wednesday at Northwestern Hospital in Chicago due to brain injuries suffered during a bout on Saturday night. He was 27.
The death was announced by promoter Lou DiBella, and follows a 10-round fight against Charles Conwell at Wintrust Arena in Chicago.
Day Removed Via Stretcher After Knockout
Day fought rising contender and 2016 US Olympian Charles Conwell on the undercard of a bout between Oleksander Usyk and Chazz Witherspoon on Saturday. Conwell was ahead in the fight throughout, but Day was competitive at most times, which kept the fight going despite the fact that he had been knocked down in both the fourth and eighth rounds.
That led to the tenth-round knockout. Conwell landed a hard three-punch combination that knocked out Day. As he fell, Day also hit his head on the canvas, causing referee Celestino Ruiz to immediately stop the bout without a count.
Day was taken out of the ring on a stretcher and immediately sent to the hospital. He never regained consciousness after the knockout, and fell into a coma before undergoing emergency brain surgery. By Wednesday, Day was being kept alive by machines, which were disconnected while family members and other loved ones were in attendance.
On Monday, Conwell wrote a heartfelt message to Day on his Instagram account.
“I never meant for this to happen to you. All I ever wanted to do was win. If I could take it all back I would. No one deserves for this to happen to them,” Conwell wrote. “I thought about quitting boxing but I know that’s not what you would want. I know that you were a fighter at heart, so I decided not to but to fight and win a world title because that’s what you wanted and that’s what I want, so I’ll use you as motivation every day and make sure I always leave it all in the ring every time.”
Decorated Career Came by Choice, Not Need
Day hailed from Freeport, New York on Long Island, and while he was not necessarily considered a world championship contender, he had won regional titles and was ranked in the top 10 by both the IBF and WBC at times in his career. Before his time as a professional, he was a highly successful amateur boxer, winning the 2012 New York Golden Gloves tournament and two national amateur championships. He served as an alternative on the 2012 US Olympic team.
“Patrick Day didn’t need to box,” DiBella said in a statement. “He came from a good family, he was smart, educated, had good values and had other avenues available to him to earn a living. He chose to box, knowing the inherent risks that every fighter faces when he or she walks into a boxing ring. Boxing is what Pat loved to do.”
DiBella also used the death as a call for more research into how to make the sport of boxing less dangerous for fighters.
“While we don’t have the answers, we certainly know many of the questions, have the means to answer them, and have the opportunity to respond responsibly and accordingly and make boxing safer for all who participate,” DiBella wrote. “This is a way we can honor the legacy of Pat Day.”