Patrick Day has sadly gone, making this Earth a lesser place for his departure. The tragic news announced by Lou DiBella on Wednesday shattered the boxing world.
A fourth death in only three months has left the sport reeling.
Maxim Dadashev, Hugo Santillan, Boris Stanchov and now Pat laid down their lives for their love of combat.
Days before his fight with Charles Conwell, Pat posted on Facebook in what has now become a poignant parting message to everyone.
He said: “Not everyone on this earth is a good person. Some people go out of their way to release negativity. That’s because of how bad they feel about themselves and how rotten they are internally.
“But I’m just glad that there are more positive people who spread love and healthy vibes than there are negative people who project bad energy.”
Uncovering those final social media words only hits home harder as boxing continues the plight of losing sons.
All Patrick ever wanted was people to be nicer to each other. Sadly, the respect shown by Day often isn’t reciprocated to the fighters themselves.
A torrent of abuse from trolls is far greater in our sport than many others, for some reason.
It seems to be a given right for keyboard warriors to give boxers s*** for no apparent reason.
Pugilists are a constant target for cowards, who just don’t understand what it takes to be a top-level boxer.
The dangers posed are always there, even in sparring. Once under those bright lights, fighters are simply at the mercy of what will unfold in those rounds.
For Pat, it was sadly his last act. But we all know his legacy will live on as an all-round good person.
Going through each step on our own road with a positive attitude is all you can ask from anyone. But in an unforgiving sport like boxing, it’s so much harder for these guys to find sanctuary.
Limited days off in between grueling camps, and the fact you have to commit your whole existence to even compete at the highest echelons is evidence enough.
The 27 year-old was fully part of that way of life, taken far too soon by unforgiving competitiveness.
These guys are fighting for their family, their livelihood and ultimately for glory, something Charles Conwell would have firmly taken with him into that fateful fight.
Spare a thought for guilt-ridden Charles too. He will live with this forever and quite possibly never be the same again.
As coach Joseph Higgins and close friend of Day reiterated, it could have happened to either man trading blows that night.
This is nobodies fault. Not the sport, not Conwell, not the rules of engagement. It’s simply the nature of fighting, which all boxers understand when they first lace on a pair of gloves.
It’s how you conduct yourself during your career that truly matters and holds a lasting legacy.
Day may not be with us anymore, but we can all take a bite out of his pleasant nature, common decency and zest for life.
Hopefully, in his memory, we can all take some of it with us as we gratefully continue on.
Never forgotten. Patrick Day.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News and an Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay