CHICAGO – Boxer Patrick Day died Wednesday at the age of 27 after suffering a traumatic brain injury during a fight in Chicago over the weekend, according to a statement from promoter Lou DiBella.
DiBella said that the New York native and former Golden Gloves champ was surrounded by friends and family at the hospital when he died.
Day, a highly-respected boxer who won two national titles as well as New York’s Golden Gloves tournament, suffered the fatal injury when he was knocked out in a loss to undefeated Charles Conwell.
Conwell landed a vicious left hook that dropped Day to the mat in the 10th round. A doctor treated him in the ring at Wintrust Arena before paramedics took him out on a stretcher. He was rushed to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for emergency brain surgery.
“Patrick Day didn’t need to box,” the statement read. “He came from a good family, he was smart, educated, had good values and had other avenues available to him to earn a living.”
The Long Island, New York native was “a dedicated college student” who earned an associate degree in food and nutrition, as well as a bachelor’s degree in health and wellness.
Conwell posted a heartfelt apology on Instagram Monday, saying in part:
I never meant for this to happen to you. All I ever wanted to do was win. If I could take it all back I would no one deserves for this to happen to them. I replay the fight over and over in my head thinking what if this never happened and why did it happen to you.
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This is my last time speaking on the situation because of this being a sensitive topic not only for his family and friends but for myself and the sport of boxing. Dear Patrick Day, I never meant for this to happen to you. All I ever wanted to do was win. If I could take it all back I would no one deserves for this to happen to them. I replay the fight over and over in my head thinking what if this never happened and why did it happen to you. I can’t stop thinking about it myself I prayed for you so many times and shedded so many tears because I couldn’t even imagine how my family and friends would feel. I see you everywhere I go and all I hear is wonderful things about you. I thought about quitting boxing but I know that’s not what you would want I know that you were a fighter at heart so I decided not to but to fight and win a world title because that’s what you wanted and thats what I want so I’ll use you as motivation every day and make sure I always leave it all in the ring every time. #ChampPatrickDay With Compassion, Charles Conwell
DiBella said in a post on his website that “it becomes very difficult to explain away or justify the dangers of boxing at a time like this,” adding that it is time for a “call to action” to find ways to make boxing safer.
“Many people live much longer than Patrick’s 27 years, wondering if they made a difference or positively affected their world,” the statement reads. “This was not the case for Patrick Day when he left us. Rest in peace and power, Pat, with the angels.”