Tubagus Sakti was just seventeen years old when he died following a bout in Jakarta, Indonesia this week after suffering a brain haemorrhage in the wake of his eighth round stoppage loss to Ichal Tobida.
The youngster and Tobida traded blows willingly throughout the fight, without too much thought for defense, until Sakti could take no more and held his hands up to the referee to stop the contest.
Tobida did manage to throw three or four more blows as the official clambered to stop the bout, after which Sakti was helped back to his corner in obvious distress. Moments later, the light flyweight’s eyes rolled back in his head and he collapsed, obviously needing immediate medical attention.
In those couple of minutes that it took to realize the seriousness of the situation and carry the stricken boxer to the ambulance, there was no oxygen administered to Sakti, and whether that could have made a difference is now academic.
The after-fight treatment mimicked that of Russian Roman Simakov, who collapsed in December 2011 and was dragged from the ring with no medical help, dying in hospital three days later.
I can only wonder whether an immediate oxygen intake in both tragic cases could have had an impact, but it is tough to see what could have been done from just watching videos of both incidents.
Afterward, it emerged that Sakti was just fifteen when he turned professional, possessing a seven-fight losing record.
It may now be down to governing bodies to investigate allowing fighters at that age to compete without protection to the head.