30 Jun 2009

PNG boxing fatality blamed on poor handling of fight

3:05 pm on 30 June 2009

Questions have been raised over the handling of a boxing bout that resulted in the death of a 23-year-old Papua New Guinean boxer making his professional debut.

Joel Hayeu from Manus Province died in Port Moresby General Hospital on Sunday morning after sustaining head injuries during a six-round welterweight loss in a PNG Pro Boxing Federation bout on June the 21st.

Joel Hayeu went the distance in a bloody top-of-the-card contest against the more experienced Kevin Baki, but collapsed after the awards presentation and was taken to hospital, where he never recovered from a coma.

A trainer and former Australian lightweight champion, Jeff Malcolm, has told the newspaper, The National, that he was distressed at the way the bout was handled.

He says that boxer was hurt pretty bad, and it was clear for everyone to see that he was taking a beating.

PNG's Post Courier boxing correspondent, Leslie Omaro, said the fight could have been stopped in round four as Joel Hayeu was bleeding heavily from the nose and on the left side of the face.