For the second time in less than a year, an Australian fighter has died after a boxing match with a Filipino boxer. David Browne Jr., 28 years of age, has passed away after his family made the difficult decision to turn off his life support.
The incident occurred during the 12th and final round of the IBF regional title fight, when Browne was knocked down to the canvas. Browne regained consciousness, and sat on his stool, and then suddenly he slid off, and lapsed into unconsciousness again.
Browne, who is a father of two from Sydney’s southwest, had fought in a super featherweight bout in Sydney on Friday. He was taken to Liverpool Hospital in a critical condition where he did not regain consciousness.
John McDougall, president of the Australian National Boxing Federation, said Browne was injured in the sixth round of the fight but told the referee he wanted to continue. He was, Mr McDougall said, about to win according to a report from The Sydney Morning Herald.
“It’s really easy in hindsight for people to cry that the fight should have been stopped, and — unfortunately — the officials are in the position that they have to make a decision, and they based it on their experience, and that Davey himself said he was quite okay, and wanted to continue,” McDougall said.
“Accidents happen in sport, and boxing is a hard sport, and — at the same time — it has been more than 30 years since the last death or serious injury has occurred in New South Wales,” McDougall added.
— Aus-Boxing.com (@ausboxing) September 14, 2015
Stephen Parnis, vice president of the Australian Medical Association (AMA), said people need to think twice before participating in the contact sport. “I know they don’t intend for this to happen but … the way that boxing is designed, there will be these times, inevitably, where someone will get bleeding or irreversible damage to the brain, and they will either lose their life or end-up with brain damage,” Parnis told the ABC. “That is why the AMA thinks that we cannot continue with it.” NSW Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres said the Combat Sports Authority — who is the government agency that supervises all professional, and amateur combat sports — are cooperating with the police investigation, The Sydney Morning Herald wrote, “I have also written to the Combat Sports Authority, asking it review this sanctioned even, and the application of the Combat Sports Act,” Ayres said. “My thoughts are with David’s family and friends during this tragic time.”
I’m absolutely shattered. RIP Davey Browne. You were a great fighter, father and friend. You will be missed by so many. — Aussie Joel Brunker (@JoelBrunker) September 14, 2015
A post-mortem examination will be conducted, and police from the Macquarie Fields Local Area Command will prepare a report for the Coroner.
A mycause page has been set up to raise “money to support David Browne’s family with anything, and everything they need after his charity boxing bout went tragically wrong. He’s currently in intensive care fighting for his life, and we want to help. Please give generously to a great Husband & Father,” the page said before Browne’s death.