Champion Australian boxer Dwight Ritchie, 27, collapses and dies after taking a freak punch on his body during training
- Dwight Ritchie, 27, died after being beaten in the stomach on Saturday
- He was in the ring to help Michael Zerafa train when he was hit and collapsed
- The Australian boxing community has visited Facebook to pay tribute
- The father of three was only the former Australian middleweight champion
Dwight Ritchie, 27, died in Melbourne during a training session with Michael Zerafa
Champion Australian boxer Dwight Ritchie died of a freak accident after being beaten in the stomach during training.
The 27-year-old sparred Saturday night with Michael Zerafa in Melbourne as he took a body photo before walking to his corner of the ring and collapsing.
Ritchie, from Shepparton in Victoria, only lost twice in his career with 21 fights, most recently against Tim Tszyu when they fought for the IBF Australasian super welterweight title in August.
Ritchie was the holder of that belt that entered the fight and previously also had the Australian middleweight title.
His promoter and friend Jake Ellis announced the tragic news in a sincere tribute on Facebook.
& # 39; It is with great sadness and shock to announce that & # 39; The Fighting Cowboy & # 39; Dwight Ritchie unfortunately died today and did what he loved, & # 39; read the post.
& # 39; Dwight will always be remembered by the boxing brotherhood as one of the smartest talents in Australia, whose fighting style embodied exactly how he lived.
& # 39; RIP Cowboy, you will be missed forever. & # 39;
Ritchie helped Zerafa train for his upcoming rematch with Jeff Horn when the incident occurred Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Ritchie pictured on his August match against Tim Tszyu, where he was beaten for the second time in his 21-match career
He also prepared for a light middleweight fight against Tommy Browne, 36, in December.
Colleagues & # 39; s came to social media to pay tribute.
Billy Dib wrote: & I cannot believe the news of the death of Dwight Ritchie. REST IN PEACE. & # 39;
& # 39; I just heard the death of boxer Dwight Ritchie in a sparring accident, & # 39; tweeted Renee Gartner.
Jake Ellis, Ritchie & # 39; s promoter and friend, went to Facebook to pay tribute and confirm the sad news
& # 39; Thoughts with all his family and friends and the boxing community, & # 39; she wrote.
Team Ellis Boxing, where Ritchie started, has a gofundme to raise money to support his three daughters – who raised nearly $ 5,000 in the first four hours.
In December 2017, Ritchie won the empty IBF Australasian super welterweight belt.
He is a proud Aboriginal man who claims that boxing keeps him away from a life full of crime.
& # 39; If I were not a boxer, I would be in jail, 100 percent. The things I was doing as a child & # 39 ;, he wrote for the Players Voice in August.
Tim Tszyu and Ritchie (right) fight in the ring during the WBO Global and IBF Australasian super welterweight title fight
& # 39; We just had no direction and we followed the same cycle that was around us then, the same traps that caught everyone.
& # 39; I was lucky to find boxing, because without this I have no doubt that I would be locked up instead of in the gym to prepare myself for a fight against Tim Tszyu, still working on my dream of a world title photo & # 39; .
He also beat childhood cancer, first after six months and then a year later, to become a professional athlete in his adult years.
His death followed that of American boxer Patrick Day, 27, who died four days after being eliminated last month during a fight in Chicago.
In September 2017, 28-year-old Australian boxer Davey Browne Jr. died. four days after he got stuck in a ring in Ingleburn.
Fellow boxer Renee Gartner responded to the news via Twitter
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