Boxer Sherif Lawal Dies After First Professional Fight

Boxer Sherif Lawal died after getting knocked down in his first professional fight in London on Sunday, the BBC reported.

Lawal, who was already injured in the bout, was punched in the temple by Malam Varela in the fourth round. The 29-year-old middleweight dropped to the canvas, but the referee didn’t even finish the count of 10 because the fighter clearly was in distress, a witness told The Sun.

Medical personnel worked on him for about 20 minutes before he was taken away on a stretcher, according to the tabloid. He reportedly was in cardiac arrest, The Telegraph noted.

A promotional poster for the bout.
A promotional poster for the bout. Clash of Titans via almightysherifdeen

The British Boxing Board of Control issued condolences to Lawal’s family.

“God rest his soul, poor old fella,” WBC heavyweight champion and fellow Brit Tyson Fury said, per The Telegraph. “You know getting into this sport that it’s a dangerous sport.”

The “Clash of the Titans” event was canceled after the fight, which was the first of the night on the undercard, ESPN reported.

“It’s a difficult time for everyone involved in the boxing fraternity and we’re trying to absorb what’s happened,” the event’s promoter, Costakis Evangelou, told The Sun. “No one wants to see something like this in any sport.”

CJ Hussein, who coached Lawal, told the Camden New Journal in March that the boxer’s “got all the talent to become a great middleweight.”

“He’s a real inspiration to all the younger boxers at the gym,” Hussein said.