Russian light heavyweight boxer Roman Simakov, who collapsed in the ring on Monday night during a title defense, died overnight of brain injuries in a Yekaterinburg hospital, an official said Thursday.
Simakov collapsed a minute into the seventh round after enduring a torrent of clubbing rights and lefts from compatriot Sergei Kovalev, falling immediately into a coma from which he never emerged, said Igor Maruzov, the general secretary of the Russian Boxing Federation.
There did not appear to be a single blow that floored Simakov, 27, who seemed to lose balance and coordination in the seconds before he fell. He was dragged out of the ring on a makeshift orange stretcher apparently unconscious.
Maruzov refused to be drawn on whether anyone would be held accountable over the death, but said a probe had begun.
“I can only comment on the situation after the official investigation, which will evaluate the actions of the referee and the medical treatment the athlete received later,” Mazurov said.
Simakov, with a career record of 19 victories, one defeat and one tie, was defending his WBC Asian Boxing Council belt against the American-based Kovalev (16, 0, 1).