Wormald's trainer dies at European title contest

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The Independent Online
Boxing

Derek Wormald's failed attempt to win the European middleweight title in Birmingham ended in tragedy on Wednesday night, with the death of his chief second and trainer, Peter McEllhiney.

McEllhiney collapsed at ringside and, after receiving attention from doctors and paramedics at the Aston Villa Leisure Centre, was taken to the City Hospital.

"Mr McEllhiney collapsed at the bout by the side of the ring and attempts to resuscitate him were made there," the hospital's accident and emergency consultant, Gary Ward, said.

"He was brought to us for further attempts to resuscitate him but I am afraid he died at the hospital. He had a cardiac arrest, but we do not know the cause at this stage."

Mr Ward said McEllhiney, who like Wormald is from Rochdale, was pronounced dead at 10.45pm. His next of kin have been informed.

Wormald, 30, was stopped in the 10th round after being floored by the champion, Richie Woodhall, for a fifth time.

"It didn't upset my fighting, because I just didn't realise what had happened," Wormald said. "I just thought Peter had fallen over and hit his head. I came back to the dressing-room and I was told what had happened."

As the World Council's No 1 contender, Woodhall could wait for his next fight until June's world title bout against the Texan holder, Quincy Taylor. But the 27-year-old may make a voluntary defence of the European title next month or in April.

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