Braydon Smith, 23, had been in an induced coma since the March 14 fight against featherweight Filipino John Moralde at Rumours International Convention Centre. He died in hospital 2 days later.
Smith lost in a unanimous decision. After praising his opponent and congratulating Moralde on his win Smith returned to his dressing room.
Despite being alert and responsive after the 10-round fight, Smith collapsed 90 minutes later. He was placed in an induced coma.
The fight was for the World Boxing Association (WBC) Oceania featherweight championship, and Moralde was just replacing Egypt’s Mohammed Metualy who backed out.
According to octogenarian Jaime Pimentel, a retired journalist of Fairfax, “this is the first Filipino boxer to cause the death of an opponent in Australia. Two other [Filipino] boxers died in the ring after being defeated in Australia: Dencio Cabanela in 1921 in Melbourne, and Alberto Jangalay in 1971 in Queensland.” Pimentel was a boxer himself during his younger years.
Medics demand ban on boxing in Australia after fighter dies (Reuters)
Senior Queensland medical officials have called for a ban on boxing in Australia following a local fighter’s death after losing a title fight last month. Braydon Smith, 23, had congratulated Filipino John Moralde for claiming a unanimous decision win in their WBC Asian Boxing Council continental featherweight title bout in Toowoomba last March 14 but collapsed after returning to his dressing room.
A law student, Smith was put in an induced coma but never regained consciousness. His life support was turned off at a Brisbane hospital on March 16.
Australian Medical Association Queensland president Shaun Rudd said the fighter’s death showed why boxing should be banned nationally.
“We believe that a so-called sport where two people knock each other in the head as often as you possibly can to win a bout seems rather barbaric,” he told ABC on Monday.
“You’re not allowed to hit the organs beneath the belt whereas you’re allowed to hit the organ above your shoulder which is the most important organ in the body.”
A representative of the Smith family said the young boxer, who was unbeaten in 12 fights prior to the Moralde bout, had wanted to show that boxing was not as dangerous as people feared.
“He really wanted to change the image of boxing,” James O’Shea told Associated Press.
Moralde said his thoughts were with the Smith family. “I pray for Braydon’s soul, may he rest in peace,” said the Filipino boxer.