Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Scott Westgarth dead: British boxer dies after winning fight against Dec Spelman, aged 31

Scott Westgarth won his fight but later collapsed backstage

Luke Brown
Monday 26 February 2018 14:14 GMT
Scott Westgarth suffered fatal head injuries during his victory over Dec Spelman in Doncaster on Saturday
Scott Westgarth suffered fatal head injuries during his victory over Dec Spelman in Doncaster on Saturday (Facebook/Scott Westgarth)

British boxer Scott Westgarth has died at the age of 31 after he was rushed to hospital following a fight on Saturday night.

Westgarth won his light-heavyweight fight against Dec Spelman on points but appeared to be in pain during the post-fight interviews. He later collapsed backstage.

After receiving treatment from paramedics, Westgarth was taken to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital and died in the early hours of Sunday morning, the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) confirmed.

His promoter Stefy Bull, who organised Saturday night’s event in Doncaster, announced the news on Monday morning.

“God bless Scott Westgarth,” he wrote. “To promote a boxing show and a young man doing a job he loves losing his life, I have no words. RIP lad, thoughts go out to your family and your team.

“It’s been the hardest few days I’ve had to endure; no idea what to do moving forward.”

Spelman also paid tribute to Westgarth, who was set to fight for the English title after his victory.

“Absolutely heartbroken and lost for words, I’ll continue to pray for Scott’s family and the people close to him,” he wrote. “Rest easy my friend.”

The BBBofC general secretary, Robert Smith, commented: “I’ve spoken to the doctors and officials in charge and am satisfied with the procedures. It’s a terrible thing that’s happened. My condolences to all of his family.”

Westgarth’s points victory over Spelman, which was the seventh win of his 10-fight career, had been scheduled on the undercard of Curtis Woodhouse-John Wayne Hibbert, which was postponed and then cancelled after Westgarth fell ill.

British boxer Scott Westgarth died at the age of 31 (PA)

Woodhouse was one of those to pay his respects to Westgarth, tweeting: “Prayers are with Scott Westgarth this evening, sometimes with all the hype around boxing you forget how dangerous this sport is.

“My fight with [Wayne Hibbert] is irrelevant and means nothing compared to life. Fingers crossed Scott is ok.”

Westgarth was a former ski instructor who worked as a chef at Sheffield’s Royal Victoria Holiday Inn, having lived in Penistone and originated from the north-east.

A charitable campaign was later set up to support Westgarth’s family, which received the backing of former heavyweight world champion Frank Bruno. Details of the campaign can be found here.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in