Boxer Patrick Day has died after suffering a traumatic brain injury during his USBA super welterweight title fight in Chicago on Saturday. He was 27.
Day was competing against Charles Conwell — a 2016 U.S. Olympian — when he was struck behind the ear, Sports Illustrated and USA Today reported.
After the hit, the young fighter’s eyes instantly rolled back and he began twitching, SI reported. He was promptly taken by ambulance in critical condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Day’s management company Dibella Entertainment released a statement at the time, explaining that the athlete underwent emergency surgery.
Day then fell into a coma due to the injury and died on Wednesday.
Dibella Entertainment announced his death in an additional statement, saying, “Day passed away today, succumbing to the traumatic brain injury he suffered in his fight this past saturday.”
“He was surrounded by his family, close friends and members of his boxing team, including his mentor, friend and trainer Joe Higgins,” the statement continued.
Prior to his death, Day became known as a celebrated professional fighter, according to his management company.
Before going pro, Day won two national titles, the New York Golden Gloves tournament and was an Olympic Team alternate in 2012.
In 2013, Day went pro and went on to become a world-rated super welterweight contender.
He won the WBC Continental Americas championship in 2017 and the IBF Intercontinental championship in 2019.
In June, he was rated in the top 10 by the World Boxing Council (WBC) and the International Boxing Federation (IBF).
In addition to his career in sports, Day was committed to furthering his education.
According to his management company, he earned an Associate’s degree in Food and Nutrition from Nassau Community College and a Bachelor’s degree in Health and Wellness from Kaplan University.
“He was a son, brother, and good friend to many. Pat’s kindness, positivity, and generosity of spirit made a lasting impression with everyone he met,” his management said in the statement.
Following Saturday’s fight, Conwell, 21, shared an open letter to Day on Instagram, expressing his sincere sympathy over what happened.
“I never meant for this to happen to you,” he wrote alongside a photo of Day. “All I ever wanted to do was win. If I could take it all back . 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,” Conwell continued.
He went on to share that he even considered quitting boxing, but decided against it, explaining, “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,” Conwell concluded.
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