BOXING Colombian fighter dies

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Jimmy Garcia of Colombia died in Las Vegas early yesterday morning, two weeks after having brain surgery following his defeat in a fight for the world super-featherweight title. He was 24.

Officials at the University Hospital Medical Centre said Garcia's condition had deteriorated quickly in the past few days after he suffered kidney failure and had lapsed into a coma.

Garcia had surgery to relieve a blood clot in his brain after absorbing a beating by the World Boxing Council champion, Gabriel Ruelas, in a title fight on 6 May. He appeared to be making progress towards recovery but he suffered a stroke a week after the surgery.

The promoter, Bob Arum, said a drastic weight loss in the weeks leading up to the fight may have contributed to Garcia's death. The boxer had to lose 131/2kg in two months to make the 59kg limit for his bout.

Arum said Ruelas was devastated by Garcia's injury, and has been with Garcia's family during their vigil at the hospital.