Australian boxing is in shock after the death of local fighter Dwight Ritchie in a reported training accident in Melbourne.
Ritchie’s promoter, Jake Ellis, confirmed the boxer’s death in a Facebook post on Saturday.
“It is with great sadness and shock [I have] to announce that the fighting cowboy Dwight Ritchie sadly passed away today doing what he loved,” Ellis wrote.
“As Dwight’s promoter and friend it’s unbearable to accept the tragic news that’s just surfaced.
“Dwight will always be remembered by the boxing fraternity as one of the brightest talents in Australia [whose] fighting style embodied exactly how he lived.
“RIP Cowboy you’ll be forever missed.”
My God. This is terrible. RIPhttps://t.co/YEjMkSfnhW
— Kevin Byrne (@KevByrneBox) November 9, 2019
News Corp has reported that Ritchie, 27, was taking part in a sparring session with boxer Michael Zerafa ahead of his re-match with former world champion Jeff Horn.
Ritchie reportedly took a punch to the body, went back to his corner, collapsed and could not be revived.
Ellis’s Facebook post also linked to a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Ritchie’s family.
Ritchie fought Tim Tszyu — son of former world champion boxer Kostya Tszyu — in August for the IBF Australasian super welterweight title in Sydney.
He lost by unanimous decision, but he was scheduled to return to the ring next month for a light-middleweight fight against Tommy Browne.
Born in Shepparton, Victoria, Ritchie’s career record was 19 wins, two losses.