|08-05-2003, 05:32 AM||#1|
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Heavyweight Brad Rone, fighting to earn money to pay for his mother's funeral, collapsed in the ring in Cedar City, Utah, during his bout with Billy Zumbrun and later died at Valley View Medical Center, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported Saturday.
According to the Review Journal, Rone collapsed at the end of an uneventful first round where neither boxer landed a solid punch.
Rone took a punch from his opponent Billy Zumbrun with about five seconds left in the first round Friday night, the Associated Press reported.
Less than 10 seconds later, after the bell rang, Rone fell to the canvas. Rone stopped breathing and was later declared dead at Valley View Medical Center, according to Detective Ross Drishinski, Iron County Sheriff's office medical examiner.
"Right now, the speculation is cardiac arrest,'' Drishinski told the AP.
There has been no official cause of death released. Officials are investigating the possibility that the 259-pound Rone suffered a massive heart attack, according to the newspaper.
Rone's body will be transported to the Salt Lake City medical examiner's office, where an autopsy will be performed, the AP reported.
Rone was offered the fight Thursday and took it in order to pay for the funeral of his mother, who had passed away earlier in the week.
Matchmaker Brad Goodman told the paper that Rone, who had an undocumented record of 7-41-3, was very distracted before the fight -- even forgetting to bring socks with him. Goodman drove him to a nearby shoe store where he bought a pair of socks.
"It took us about 10 minutes, and he was so distraught and he just kept saying how much he wanted to get home," Goodman said to the Review Journal. "He was playing gospel music -- religious music -- and said he had listened to it all day (Thursday). He was a great, great guy and he was just devastated by this."
Pete Sussens, a Midwest matchmaker, told the paper that Rone wasn't as focused as he normally is for a fight, but he noticed nothing else different before the bout.
"He was so depressed. You felt terrible for him," Sussens said to the paper. "You can usually joke around with him, but not tonight. He was a fearless guy with great courage and I had never seen him hurt in the ring. And he was a great, great guy. He'd do anything for you. It's a tragedy."
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