CHICAGO – Boxer Patrick Day died Wednesday at the age of 27 after suffering a traumatic brain injury during a fight in Chicago over 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.
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.”