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'You have to take one to give one sometimes': Haunting final interview of British boxer Scott Westgarth who died after winning fight

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Tributes have poured in this morning for the British boxer Scott Westgarth who has died aged 31 after a brain injury sustained during his bout with Dec Spelman in an English title eliminator at The Dome, in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, on Saturday night.

Westgarth had earned a win on points over Spelman, but had earlier been knocked down on the ropes just before the bell for the end of round 10.

The boxer from the North East looked uncomfortable during a post-fight interview before he was taken ill, with images on social media showing him clearly in pain.

Reports suggest that Westgarth returned to his dressing room, and was then taken to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, where he later died.

The Boxing Board have spoken to officials overseeing the event. Robert Smith, Boxing Board secretary, told The Telegraph: "Scott was taken to hospital and then deteriorated on the journey, and started to feel unwell." 

It is understood that Westgarth had passed away in the early hours of Sunday morning. It is not clear yet whether the boxer was operated on.

In his final interview, which took place ringside after his win, Westgarth said: "I do this for fun not because I think I'm a world class fighter, I'm glad we could put on a show and keep everyone entertained.

"It's a case of being able to take one to give one sometimes.

"I don't really care who's next. I just do boxing because I enjoy it, that's the only reason I do it. I enjoy going to the gym with the lads, and I train regardless; win, lose or draw."

Former Sheffield United captain and ex-British champion Curtis Woodhouse was due to face John Wayne Hibbert in the headline fight on the show, but this was postponed and then cancelled after the collapse of the boxer.

Westgarth's promoter, Stefy Bull, confirmed the tragic news on social media this morning. "God bless Scott Westgarth. To promote a boxing show and a young man doing a job he loves losing his life, I have no words. RIP lad thoughts go out to your family and your team, it's been the hardest few days I've had to endure," wrote Bull, a former opponent of Amir Khan, who retired ten years ago.

"No idea what to do moving forward." Westgarth's opponent, Spelman wrote on his social media page: "Absolutely heartbroken and lost for words ail continue to pray for Scott's family and the people close to him rest easy my friend."

Westgarth, who began boxing at the age of 24, was a former ski instructor, who worked as a chef at Sheffield's Royal Victoria Holiday Inn and his victory over Spelman meant he was one win away from fighting for the English light heavyweight title.

Stars of the boxing world took to Twitter to pay tribute to Westgarth on this morning. Former two weight world champion Ricky Hatton was among the many wrote: 'Heartbreaking this. Thoughts to his friends and family. And to anyone involved in the show. Rest in peace young man x."

Middleweight boxer Martin Murray also tweeted: "So sad to hear the news of Scott Westgarth. Thinking of his family and friends. 'Such a cruel sport at times and this is why every person who steps through them ropes to fight deserves respect #RIPchamp x.'

Promoter Eddie Hearn added this morning. "Our thoughts and condolences with the family of Scott Westgarth, may he rest in peace."

Telegraph

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