On Wednesday (Oct. 16), junior middleweight boxer Patrick Day died from traumatic brain injuries set on by a recent knockout, ESPN reports. During Saturday’s bout against Charles Conwell (Oct. 12), Day suffered a trio of destructive blows to the head in the tenth round after enduring previous hits in the fourth and eighth rounds. He fell into a coma while being treated at Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Born in Freeport, New York, the 27-year-old not only had pursuits inside of the ring but also on the outside. Day obtained a bachelor’s degree in health and wellness from Kaplan University, adding to his associate degree from Nassau Community College for nutrition. In 2006, he embarked on his professional boxing career, taking home the New York Golden Gloves six years later.
“On behalf of Patrick’s family, team, and those closest to him, we are grateful for the prayers, expressions of support and outpouring of love for Pat that have been so obvious since his injury,” promoter Lou DiBella said in a statement to ESPN. “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.”
Conwell took to his social media accounts to share his condolences and expressed remorse for how the match ended. “If I could take it all back I would no one deserves for this to happen to them,” he wrote. “I replay the fight over and over in my head thinking what if this never happened and why did it happen to you.” The undefeated boxer noted he entertained thoughts of quitting boxing but believes Day would want him to continue on in the sport.
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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
The boxing community swiftly expressed their thoughts and prayers for Day’s family.
RIP young King
Patrick Day All Day! 🙏❤️
— Amanda Serrano 🇵🇷 (@Serranosisters) October 17, 2019
Our deepest condolences to the family, friends and the team of Patrick Day. Rest In Peace Pat.
— Gennadiy Golovkin (@GGGBoxing) October 17, 2019
Another tragic day in our beloved sport. RIP Patrick Day pic.twitter.com/M23grCjHD3
— Carl Frampton MBE (@RealCFrampton) October 17, 2019
A truly heartbreaking situation…
— iFL TV™ (@IFLTV) October 17, 2019
R.I.P. to Patrick Day. 27 years old, he had his whole life ahead of him. Rest easy Champ 🖤✊🏽 pic.twitter.com/KW4eEdLeor
— Ashley Theophane (@AshleyTheophane) October 16, 2019
Another sad day for the boxing world. Our sincere condolences to the family of Patrick Day 🙏 pic.twitter.com/AlaaTKhuPe
— MayweatherPromotions (@MayweatherPromo) October 16, 2019
Devastated to hear the news of the passing of Patrick Day.I met him for the first time last Thursday,what a charming young man with a dream and a smile that lit up the room.Our deepest prayers are with his family, his trainer Joe Higgins,Charles Conwell and promoter Lou DiBella🙏
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) October 16, 2019
Keep lifting up my brother #PatrickDay we need non stop prayers! For him, his family, and the boxing community. This kid is such a blessing and doesn’t deserve this. I haven’t prayed, cried, or tweeted in so long #LetsGoChamp pic.twitter.com/q4Pmmx2b2H
— Magic Marcus Willis (@MagicMarcusW) October 16, 2019
Rest In Peace.
Patrick Day was always kind, happy and an exceptional good man who was outstandingly passionate about boxing. We will always remember you for all of that. pic.twitter.com/v506g26nmX
— World Boxing Council (@WBCBoxing) October 16, 2019
Damn man, Rest easy Patrick Day. Prayers to your friends and family
— Gervonta Davis (@Gervontaa) October 16, 2019
The last North American boxer to die from brain injuries following a match was Kevin Payne in March 2006 after a surgery to treat the impact. According to the NCBI, 20 percent of pro boxers suffer Chronic Traumatic Brain Injury (CTBI). The condition is similar to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) which has been a recurring topic in sports like football and hockey.
“While we already know that boxing and other combat sports are linked to brain damage, little is known about how this process develops and who may be on the path to developing CTE,” said Dr. Charles Bernick, a researcher at the Cleveland Clinic said in an American Academy of Neurology, per CBS News.