The British boxing world continues to pay tribute to Scott Westgarth, the Sheffield-trained Northumberland light-heavyweight who has died after being taken to hospital following his fight with Dec Spelman on Saturday night [24 February].
The 31-year-old outpointed Spelman at the Doncaster Dome in a 10-round English title eliminator that saw both men knocked down before paramedics were called after he was taken ill in the dressing room. The Hexham-born fighter had looked in visible pain during the interview following his 10th professional bout.
Westgarth was taken to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield and the headline Commonwealth welterweight title eliminator between former footballer Curtis Woodhouse and John Wayne Hibbert was subsequently cancelled.
News of Westgarth's passing emerged on Monday [26 February] morning, with promoter Stefy Bull tweeting: "God bless Scott Westgarth 2 [sic] 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 2 yr family and yr team it's been the hardest few days I've had to endure no idea what 2 do moving forward."
Spelman said: "Absolutely heartbroken and lost for words ail continue to pray for Scott's family and the people close to him rest easy my friend."
Per the Sheffield Star, Westgarth, a former ski instructor who took up boxing at the age of 24 without an amateur background, worked as a chef at the Royal Victoria Holiday Inn in Sheffield. He was trained by former lightweight Glyn Rhodes MBE at the Sheffield Boxing Centre (SBC) and lived in the market town of Penistone, near Barnsley.
He amassed a record of seven wins from 10 fights with two losses and a draw and was due to meet the winner of next month's bout between Miles Shinkwin and Liam Conroy for the English light-heavyweight title.
"From all at Sheffield boxing centre. Today our hearts are broken as we have to share the devastating news that one of our 'family' has sadly passed away over the weekend whilst pursuing his dreams," Rhodes wrote on Facebook.
"Our only thoughts are with his immediate family and friends at this time. Scott truly was a member of sbc unit and from the 'babies' to the old timers was loved by everyone. The heartfelt messages of love and support are greatly appreciated and a comfort at this time. Goodnight godbless champ."
Eddie Hearn, Frank Warren, Ricky Hatton, fellow Sheffield-based fighter Kell Brook and Carl Frampton were among those to pay their respects to Westgarth. A GoFundMe campaign has also been set up in order to help his family.