Kickboxer in fatal fight

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The Independent Online
A kickboxer died in Northern Ireland yesterday after collapsing in the ring.

Sean McBride, 18, from Dungannon, Co Tyrone, was taken from the ring to South Tyrone Hospital, apparently after being stuck a blow on the back of the head. He was then transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, where he was put on a life-support machine. He died without regaining consciousness.

Sean, a meat plant worker, fell at the end of his contest at a hotel near Dungannon. Police have been called in to investigate the death and an inquest is to be held.

His mother, Mary McBride, said: "Football and boxing were his life. I didn't want to stop him fighting because I knew it meant too much to him."

Mrs McBride, her husband Sean and daughters Ciara, Fiona and Aime, were sittingamong the crowd at the Glengannon Hotel where her son collapsed on Friday night.

The teenager's death, thought to be the first ever from injuries sustained during a kickboxing match, was a tragedy waiting to happen, according to the Belfast-based world champion.

Billy Murray, International Sport Kickboxing Association world champion, said he had long complained about inadequate safety measures employed by some branches of the sport.

"The people at fault here are the Sports Council. For many years we have been battling to get all the kickboxing groups to come together and get a governing body and we have asked the Sports Council to do this on many occasions."