YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A boxer from Detroit has died after being hurt in a Youngstown bout Saturday night.
Hamzah Ajahmi, 19, died of blunt force trauma to the head, according to Mahoning County Coroner Joseph Ohr.
Ajahmi was in his first professional fight, as was his opponent Anthony Taylor of Warren.
Ajahmi had some wobbly legs at the end of the fight and collapsed as the final bell sounded. The next minutes and hours would be critical.
“Rolled the kid over, the doctor said the kid said ‘My knee hurt,” said Bernie Profato, executive of the Ohio Athletic Commission, which oversees boxing in Ohio. “Then, all of a sudden, he passes out.”
Profato was at the fight and said Ajahmi was rushed to the hospital and was having surgery within an hour.
Ohr, who performed an autopsy on Ajahmi, said although Ajamhmi suffered a severe head injury, it might not have been apparent at first. He said those injuries tend to manifest slowly.
During a press conference Wednesday afternoon, local trainer and promoter Jack Loew, who appeared visibly distraught, said he was “deeply saddened” by the tragic events.
“I am at a loss for words, for the first time in my life,” Loew said.
Press conference on boxing fatality
Warning: Video contains some profanity.
Loew said Taylor is heartbroken by Ajahmi’s death and visited the boxer when he was in the hospital .
“The kid is heartbroken. You are supposed to enjoy your first victory. Now, he has this on his hands,” Loew said. “It’s a brutal, brutal sport, as is hockey, as is baseball and football. And we are not on the top of the list for deaths. It just happened on my watch at my show.”
Lowe said the referees acted accordingly and that the contest was a fair match up.
Profato has already filed his report about the fight, which said Ajahmi “got up and showed no signs of staggering” after being knocked down in the first round. It also talked about the judges’ scorecards showing that Ajahmi had won rounds two and three.
“The fighter showed that he was not in there outclassed, because he won three of the four rounds,” Profato said. “If he doesn’t lose the first round that bad, he wins the fight.”
This is the first fighting fatality in Ohio since 2004, when a person died from injuries sustained during a Tough Man contest in Dayton.
Loew says he will reach out again to Ajahmi’s family after the holidays to express his sorrow for the man’s death. Right now, he is canceling his February card of bouts.