By Terence Dooley
Every so often a tragedy occurs that puts boxing’s politicking and controversies into their proper context. One such event took place exactly seven days ago when former WBO welterweight world champion Paul Williams was left paralyzed after a motorcycle accident. A week later and another heartbreak has given the industry pause for thought after news broke of fledgling pro Lewis Pinto’s death earlier today.
Wallington’s Pinto – who once said he gained inspiration and insight from Mike Tyson’s boxing career and style – made his pro debut when decisioning Danny Dontchev over four-threes on April 20. His friend and manager Mickey Helliet confirmed the news of his passing this afternoon when he Tweeted: ‘I am very very sorry, something terrible has happened but the rumours are true my boxer and good friend Lewis Pinto, hung himself this morning.’
The 24-year-old showed potential both as an amateur and on Ross Minter’s Queensberry Boxing League unlicensed circuit. It had been hoped that Pinto would become one of the unlicensed scenes big crossover success stories after he gained his BBBoC licence and began his professional journey at London’s Corontet Theatre with a composed win over Dontchev.
Tragically, Pinto will now forever remain 1-0; we will never know just how much potential he possessed. Pinto had Tweeted about Austin Trout’s WBA light-middleweight title win over Delvin Rodriguez earlier today and his enthusiasm for the game was plain to see to anyone who looked at his homepage on the microblogging site.
Who knows, the super middleweight prospect may have one day had the opportunity to speak directly to his fans about his own title fights, as it stands his apparent suicide is a sobering reminder of the fragility of life. Like Darren Sutherland, who took his own life in September 2009, Pinto joins the ranks of those who left the sport too soon and will be sadly missed within the London and British fight fraternity. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and the people who helped Lewis during his short boxing journey.
Talking about his pro debut: “I had supporters come from Manchester, Weymouth and all over the country to watch me last time. They saw me in the Queensbury Boxing League on Eurosport and think I’m an exciting fighter. They know I’m not really a boxer, I’m a brawler who goes in there to have a row and I don’t mind taking 10 shots to land one – and that’s what they like to see.”
On his love for Tyson: “I’ve never had a coach before, I learned how to box by watching Mike Tyson DVDs.”
Lewis Pinto: 10-12-1987 to 3-6-2012.
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