Australian Michael Zerafa has poured his heart out over the tragic death of long-time friend Dwight Ritchie during a sparring session between the pair.
Zerafa and Ritchie were training together for their upcoming bouts when the incident happened. Ritchie sadly never recovered.
At just 27, Ritchie’s life was cut short. Zerafa has now paid tribute to the former Aussie middleweight title holder.
“There are simply no words to describe how I am feeling right now,” Zerafa said in a column on exclusiveinsight.com.
“Dwight was one of the most humble people I have ever met.
“We had known each other since we were teenagers when we were just starting out in the sport. And for the past 10 years, Dwight and I had been supporting each other inside, and outside of the ring.
“There had always been a professional and mutual respect between us.
“Yesterday, was an absolute tragedy, and as tough as it is right now for myself, I can only imagine how difficult the past 24 hours has been for Dwight’s family.
“My heart bleeds for his three children and his beautiful partner. I have spoken to the family and given my deepest condolences.
The boxing community has lost a truly great person. I have lost a mate.
“I appreciate all the messages of support that I have been receiving from family, friends, media and the boxing community.
“Dwight’s passing is a further reminder of why we can’t take life for granted. Nothing in life is guaranteed. Dwight lived his life with purpose. Those in the boxing community that came to know him will forever cherish the positive memories we had with him.
“He taught me so much, not just as a boxer but as a person, and I will always be thankful for the lessons Dwight shared with me about life.
“Dwight, you will always be remembered. Rest in Peace mate.”
Tributes to Ritchie came thick and fast after news filtered out on Sunday.
Ritchies became the fifth boxing death since the summer and proves not only fight nights are dangerous.
Promoter Lou DiBella had pointed this out to WBN just days before the incident.