Sherif Lawal dead: British boxer dies at 29 after collapsing in the ring on pro debut | Boxing | Sport

British middleweight boxer Sherif Lawal has died at the age of 29 after collapsing in the ring on his professional debut. Lawal, who had been boxing since 2018 and turned professional earlier this year, lost consciousness during the fourth round of his bout against Malam Varela on Sunday night.

Lawal collapsed after he was struck on the temple and was treated by doctors and paramedics inside the ring. The referee started his knockout count but quickly waved off the fight after it dawned on him that Lawal was seriously hurt.

According to BoxingScene, Lawal was shocked with a defibrillator and received CPR before he was rushed to hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The remaining three fights on the card of the Clash of the Titans event at Harrow Leisure Centre were cancelled.

Warren Boxing Management issued a statement to confirm that Lawal had died, posting on Instagram: « Last night, Sherif Lawal was making his debut at a show at Harrow Leisure Centre, in which our boxer Courtney Bennett was scheduled to fight.

« Unfortunately during Sherif’s fight, he collapsed and despite the best efforts of the paramedics, he was later pronounced dead. Warren Boxing Management would like to send our condolences to all of Sherif’s family, friends, coaches and all those close to him at this tragic time. »

A witness told The Sun: « His fight was first on the card, but the event was cancelled and the remaining three fights scrapped after Sherif was taken to hospital. That tells you how serious it was.

« He was hurt at the end of round three. He then came out for the fourth and final round with his guard up, and took a right to the temple. He dropped to his haunches and the referee started a count to 10, but then stopped and waved it off because he could see Sherif was in a bad way.

« Doctors arrived and worked on him in the ring for about 20 minutes, including CPR and the use of a defibrillator. This was in front of a packed house, and everyone was in total shock. Sherif was then taken away on a stretcher before news came through later that he had passed away. »

Costakis Evangelou, the promoter behind the Clash of the Titans event, added: « This was a tragic incident and my profound sympathies go out to Sherif’s family. It’s a difficult time for everyone involved in the boxing fraternity and we’re trying to absorb what’s happened.

« No one wants to see something like this in any sport. Sherif was a great boxer and man. It’s now in the hands of the board and they’re going to assess the incident. »

World heavyweight champion Tyson Fury was among those to pay tribute to Lawal ahead of his undisputed clash with Oleksandr Usyk, saying on Monday: « God rest his soul, poor old fella. You know getting into this sport that it’s a dangerous sport. »

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