Boxer tragically dies after brutal knockout in title fight
Christian Daghio, an Italian fighter and former boxing and Muay Thai champion, died last Friday (November 2nd) following the WBC Asia title match against Don Parueang.
The 49-year-old pro had been induced into a coma following a severe knock-out in the 12th round of a match on October 26th. Daghio went down after receiving a number of successive punches to his face and head, and - though he was immediately treated by medical staff in the ring - there was nothing that could be done to save him.
He was rushed to a hospital in Bangkok as soon as possible, but the damage was done. After a week on life support, he passed away.
Officials have come under fire for their treatment of Daghio in the moments following his fatal knock-out, as pictures show that Parueang was awarded the title while the dying boxer was still in the ring.
"This is one of the most disgraceful things to happen in boxing for some time," wrote one fan account. "While Christian Daghio lay unconscious and dying in the ring being attended by medical staff your officials conduct the belt and victory ceremony. Utterly disgraceful conduct!"
When one individual tried to defend the decision to award the belt while Daghio was being treated by paramedics by saying, "Nothing wrong with this, [these things] can happen," the Twitter account SweetSciencePhD doubled down on their point:
"As super sad as his death is, my point was about the medical staff not having control of their surroundings. The decision to hold the victory ceremony in the ring while he was being worked on is awful on a tonne of levels. The sole focus should have been his well being."
"Christian died as he wanted to die, that is in the ring," said Daghio's brother, Fabrizio. "He dreamed of fighting until he was 80 years old. The ring was his life and he died as a champion."
The 49-year-old will indeed be remembered as a legend, having fought more than 200 professional fights and won a total of seven world titles in Muay Thai and boxing.
Tributes have poured in on social media for the fighter:
Though this incident is undeniably tragic, it is also not unheard of. Fighters die or sustain life-changing injuries in the ring on a fairly frequent basis, and many who take part in the sport (even at an amateur level) put themselves at risk with every fight. Perhaps Daghio's death will open up a larger conversation on the subject of safety for athletes in contact sports - especially older fighters who might not be able to take as much as their younger opponents.
Daghio sadly leaves behind a girlfriend and a five-year-old daughter, who, according to Fabrizio, has not yet been told that her father died of his injuries.
Our thoughts go out to the boxer's family and loved ones at this difficult time.