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Father of novice boxer who died ‘will always regret’ letting him get in the ring

The father of a man who died after taking part in a charity boxing match will forever regret not stopping his son from getting into the ring, an inquest has heard.

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Dominic Chapman died in hospital after taking part in a boxing night at Tramps nightclub in Worcester on April 9, 2022.

An inquest at Worcester Coroners Court in Stourport has been hearing evidence surrounding the circumstances of his death since last Tuesday.

On Tuesday, May 21, Mr Chapman’s father John Chapman said Dominic had taken an interest in the Ultra White Collar Boxing event because he wanted to raise money for Cancer Research and ahead of the bout was in “as good a physical condition as I’d seen him in”.

Mr Chapman said: “Dominic had built good friendships with other boxers during training,” and had described his opponent as a “nice guy”.

Mr Chapman said he had ringside seats on the night, about 10 feet from Dominic’s corner, and was shocked at what he saw.

He told the court: “I didn’t expect the ferocity and competitiveness of those taking part. I don’t think Dominic was expecting that either.

“It was just my gut feeling. I will regret to the day of my death that I didn’t persuade him not to get into that ring.

“From what I saw in that ring it was all about attack rather than the boxing.

"It made me feel uncomfortable, I felt anxious about it but I think Dominic felt he’d come a long way and wanted to go through with it.”

Senior coroner David Reid, who earlier asked to see a picture of Dominic that has been in court with his family all week, said he didn’t want to make Mr Chapman go through the events of Dominic’s fight in detail but Mr Chapman replied: “I go through it every day, sir.”

He said he’d seen his son holding on to his opponent several times throughout the fight but put this down to tiredness, “but on reflection it was a sign he was in trouble potentially,” he added.

The court had previously heard evidence that Dominic had been moved from the ring on a stretcher after collapsing and heard expert evidence this week from emergency medical consultant Dr Ramzi Freij that this was the right thing to do.

But Mr Chapman said: “I still believe he shouldn’t have been moved.

"Time was critical and Dominic was deteriorating rapidly.

"For me they should've cleared the nightclub and called 999 straight away.”

Mr Chapman described the medical area at the event as “dark” and “cold”, and made reference to the fact that while Dominic was being treated the club continued to “play loud music and carry on the fights. It’s disgusting and people should be ashamed of themselves”.

Mr Chapman had earlier paid tribute to his son, whose “ability to make friends of all ages was testament to his warmth and loyalty”.

“He surrounded himself with good people and had an ability to retain facts, figures and details – such as the scores for West Bromwich Albion in certain games years ago."

Mr Chapman said Dominic’s BMW was his pride and joy and talked about his son’s “passion for horse racing”, adding that his “tips were not always the best”.

The inquest continues.

Report by Local Democracy Reporter Phil Wilkinson Jones

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