Assuming you’ve already perused the article on our website addressing the hazards of boxing, the outcomes of certain careers concluding fatally shouldn’t come as a shock. For those who haven’t had the chance to read it, the peril posed by blows to the head may be unexpectedly eye-opening. Learn more about dangerous boxing injuries here.
Prichard Colon Melendez was born in 1992 in Maitland, Florida, and is, unfortunately, a former Puerto Rican professional boxer. Prichard was enjoying a stellar professional career after going 17-undefeated as an amateur with five national championships in two divisions and a gold medal at the Pan American Youth Championships.
His professional boxing career was a short two-and-a-half years, where he achieved 16 wins with 13 knockouts. Things got out of control after a match with Terrel Williams in 2015 when Melendez passed out in the locker room. The blows that ended up on the back of his head left a lot of damage.
Due to a brain hemorrhage, he remained in a coma for over 200 days. Colon was frequently awake but left in a chronic vegetative state. The young and prosperous boxer went from heroic matches to a motorized wheelchair without the ability to speak, which is why using a communication device.
Williams, who threw strikes in the penalty zone, says he prays for Prichard daily, and his brother-in-arms will always be on his mind. Having someone on your soul in this way is certainly not easy for Terrell, and it is even more difficult for Prichard Colon.
Magomed Abdusalamov was born in 1981 in the famous Makhachkala, Dagestan, and is another sad boxing story. The former two-time Russian national amateur champion moved to the professional ring after only a few years, where he remained from 2008 to 2013. Boxing mainly in America, Russia, and once in Argentina, Magomed achieved a promising streak of 18 victories with all knockouts.
In 2012, he won the WBC-USNBC Silver heavyweight title, which he managed to defend several times until it was the Cuban-Irish fighter Mike Perez’s turn to conquer it. Abdusalamov lost the match and the titles by decision, but that was not the only thing he lost that night. After he was transported to the New York hospital to remove a blood clot from his brain, his condition worsened.
What is interesting is that, regardless of the 100% finish rate throughout his career, Mago suffered injuries from just one match that left him with a disfigured face. So, regardless of top performance, it takes seconds and a few hard blows to turn a boxer’s life upside down. His career is over regardless of his condition, which is improving slightly, and Abdusalamov was left in a wheelchair.
Carmine Virgo is a former American old-school boxer born in 1929 whose career was cut short because of his love for dangerous boxing. In 1948, he appeared as a professional with a knockout victory, continuing his streak of shutouts in the next two matches. He boxed in 17 fights in just one year with only one loss. In 1949, the night before the new year, he squared up with the legendary and undefeated Rocky Marciano at Madison Square Garden.
‘Bingo Vingo’ took the fight to Rocky in an attractive match that Marciano says was one of the hardest in his life. Rocky, as always, finds his way to victory with a brutal uppercut, causing Vingo to be carried away on a stretcher. Carmine fell into a coma and required brain surgery. By some divine luck, he remained alive but with a paralyzed left side and reduced vision.
Rocky and Carmine became friends at great cost, and Marciano did not want to continue his career until his opponent-friend recovered. Conversely, Virgo attended the funeral of his friend Rocky, who died before him. With a quality recovery, Carmine recovered and was blessed to live to be 85 years old when he died of natural causes.
Paul Williams was born in 1981 in Augusta, Georgia, USA. After about twenty-five amateur fights, Paul turned pro very early, a few days before his 19th birthday, to be exact. He competed from 2000 to 2012, boxing in 43 matches in American cities, achieving a record of 41 wins with 27 knockouts and two losses.
Williams, who was quite tall for the categories in which he competed, fought at welterweight, super welterweight, and middleweight. He had the most success in the welterweight category, winning the double WBO crown and the WBC/WBO-USNBC titles. Unfortunately, after a motorcycle accident after driving at 75 mph, Williams flew onto and landed on his head, which left his spinal cord bruised enough to paralyze him below the waist.
Fortunately, the American boxer did not pay with his life. However, The Punisher is considered more than blessed, and his smile in a wheelchair is inspiring. What is motivating about his story is his statement that he is not finished until his Lord decides to take his life. As a positive head, he is very optimistic. After two sad stories with Colon and Abdusalamov, Paul proved to be a true warrior with a positive attitude despite a career-ending injury.
Gerald Allen McClellan was born in 1967 in Freeport, Illinois, US, and he is a former American boxer whose career was short and high-quality but fatally ended. A former junior Golden Gloves champion four years in a row, also excelled at other national competitions, winning silver, bronze, and gold medals.
He opened his professional career with powerpuncher methods in 1988, where he strung together a streak of 10 victories by knockout. Gerald competed in middleweight, winning the WBO and WBC titles, which he defended three times. His seven-year-long career is filled with 31 wins, 29 of which are knockouts and three losses.
An ugly turn in his career happened after a match in England where he faced Nigel Benn but slipped in an attempt to win the WBC super-middleweight title. After the referee counted out McClellan, the boxer fainted when he reached his corner and was rushed to the hospital on a stretcher.
Gerald underwent an operation to remove the blood clot from his brain, which left him with terrible consequences in the form of the inability to see and walk 80% of his hearing was gone, and enormous damage was also felt to his short-term memory.
Michael Watson was born in 1965 in London, England. He is a former British professional boxer whose career could have cost him his life. After a short amateur career with 20 wins and only two losses, Michael transferred his hard fists to the boxing ring, where he debuted in 1984.
He knocked out the first six opponents and thus showed his abilities. In a career until 1991, Watson secured 25 wins with 21 knockouts, four losses, and one draw. The Force only got a chance for the title after 24 pro matches when he knocked out Nigel Benn with a technical knockout in the sixth round to become the Commonwealth middleweight champion, a title he defended a couple of years later.
Boxer Chris Eubank, whom Michael faced twice in three months in an attempt to win the WBO super middleweight and middleweight titles, was the last stop for the English boxer. Due to the fatal uppercut and blow to the back of the head during the fall, Watson spent 40 days in a coma with six brain surgeries, leaving him in intensive care for a year. He completely lost the ability to speak, hear, and write, which he later recovered by fighting like a lion but remained in a wheelchair for the next six years.
Leavander William Johnson was born in 1969 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, US. His first and eternal coach was his father, who managed to get young Leavander on the right path and ensure his success. After his son’s death, he continued to teach young people. Unfortunately, he died young, at the age of 35, after a match against Jesus Chavez, who defeated him with an assault of punches, which resulted in Johnson passing out in the locker room.
Swelling and bleeding on his brain required surgery, which brought him to a critical life situation. Laevander still managed to wake up and recover slightly, but, unfortunately, he was pronounced dead in 2005 when his recovery suddenly stopped. Johnson fought professionally from 1989 to 2005, achieving 34 wins with 26 knockouts and five losses with four knockouts, which probably contributed to the brain damage that only later became fatal.
As a lightweight fighter, Leavander managed to win the IBO title in 1995 and, on the third attempt, the IBF title in 2005, one year after the fatal event that would end his career and life. Johnson is also the winner of regional titles such as NABF and WBC.
Greg Page was born in 1958 in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. He died in 2009 in the hospital bed where he was staying at home due to injuries he received in a match against Dale Crow in 2001 in his hometown for the Kentucky heavyweight title. After he was knocked out in the last round, his condition became complicated, and he was taken to the hospital several times.
Greg had brain surgery that paralyzed the left side of his body and left him in a coma seven days after the operation due to the stroke he received. As a professional, Greg appeared in 1979 and remained in the ring until his accident in 2001. Page fought for 58 victories with 48 incredible knockouts and 17 defeats with one draw match.
Page participated in several title fights with half the winning percentage and is the winner of the WBA and USBA heavyweight championships and the US heavyweight championship. It is important to note that he cut his career short with a three-year hiatus, and although he returned to the ring and had a superb streak of 12 knockouts in a row, his return at the end of his career turned out to be a cardinal mistake in his life.
Shaub Cummins was born in 1986 in Leicester, and he is an ex-English boxer whose life ended brutally at the age of 44. The Guv’nor tried professional boxing in 1986 and, in his career, won 22 matches, with 14 knockouts and six losses with one draw, winning the WBA inter-continental super welterweight title.
In his last bout challenging for the British Middleweight title against Neville Brown, Shaub was stopped, knocked out, and forced to retire due to brain damage in 1995. That death did not want to avoid him is shown by the continuation of his unhappy life, which Shaub spent as a debt collector and bodyguard.
Things went even lower when he was involved in a motorcycle accident and left paralyzed below the chest. One bad thing leads to another, as evidenced by his death in 2012 when his body was found badly dismembered with a chainsaw by Thomas Dunkley, who was sentenced to life imprisonment. The boxer’s body was found in such a terrible condition that they could not find out the cause of his death, and it is said that he died 11 days before his body was found.
Gary Balletto was born in 1975 in Providence, Rhode Island, England. The Tiger left behind a quality career that lasted ten years, and he showed his destructive power in the lightweight division, where he knocked out 26 opponents in 31 victories. Balleto also recorded three defeats, but he can boast that no one managed to knock him out, and he also has two draw matches.
Although he did not find his way to the world titles, Gary won the EBA and IBU lightweight titles. His accident happened in 2013 when he injured his spinal cord while playing with his son. A seemingly harmless game with a pull-up bar in the backyard turned into a real tragedy that left Gary paraplegic and paralyzed from the waist down.
That he is the same fighter who was in the ring is shown by the fact that he started “The Gary Tiger Balleto Foundation,” which is known for drawing attention and acquiring resources for all the unfortunate people who are victims of paralysis. Balleto has proven to have a big and strong heart, humanity, and refusal to let a life-threatening injury define him for the rest of his life.
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