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Sedgley boxer's horror after fight ends in tragedy

Dudley | News | Published:

A boxer from the Black Country has been left shocked and distraught after an opponent died in hospital with brain injuries, days after collapsing during their bout.

Tom Bowen, from Sedgley, is now considering whether to box again after the tragedy in just his ninth professional fight.

He was fighting 31-year-old Michael Norgrove when the Zambian collapsed and was taken to hospital. He died nine days after being taken ill with a blood clot on his brain.

The fight, at The Ring in Blackfriars, London, was Mr Norgrove's sixth professional fight. He is the first boxer to die after a fight in Britain for 18 years.

Mr Bowen's trainer Errol Johnson, from West Bromwich, today offered his condolences to Mr Norgrove's family following his death on Saturday. He said: "It was just a tragedy really, a freak occurrence.

"Michael hardly got hit with a punch, and he definitely didn't get hit with one when he collapsed, so we are shocked by what's happened."

He said he did not yet know whether Mr Bowen would box again.

Mr Johnson said 24-year-old Mr Bowen, who trains at Wednesbury Boxing Academy on Wharfedale Street, had been left stunned by the death and was too distressed to talk about it.

During the match on March 31, referee Jeff Hinds stopped the contest early in the fifth of six scheduled rounds after growing concerned by light-middleweight Mr Norgrove's behaviour.

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He subsequently collapsed and was taken to hospital.

Mr Norgrove, a former amateur and white collar fighter who lived in Woodford Green in London, is the first boxer to die in a British ring since Scottish bantamweight James Murray in Glasgow in 1995.

British Boxing Board of Control general secretary Robert Smith said:?"This is an acute injury that can happen any time. He had his medicals done and had his brain scans done. There was nothing there of any concern whatsoever, otherwise he wouldn't have been in the ring.

"He was a fit young man but we can't guarantee an acute injury can't happen."

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