There is no easy way to say this. After being stopped in the 5th round of his British Welterweight Title eliminator fight on Thursday night in Glasgow, Mike Towell from Dundee in Scotland was rushed to hospital where he sadly passed away around 11pm local time on Friday night. The boxing community in Scotland, the UK as a whole and fans/writers from around the world have been quick to express their sympathy for Towell's friends and family and I echo those sentiments. Furthermore I salute the bravery of Towell and all the men and women who step through the ropes to entertain us with their pugilistic skills.
A poignant statement from Towell's partner Chloe Ross on Facebook revealed that the boxer was taken off life support on Friday morning and battled on for a further 12 hours. Ross wrote “I'm absolutely heartbroken to say my annoying best friend passed away tonight at 11.02pm. Michael had severe bleeding and swelling to his brain.” The statement also revealed that Towell had been complaining of headaches a few weeks prior to the fight and that sadly his young son had lost his father.
Previously undefeated, Towell was contesting his 12th professional fight. His opponent was Welshman Dale Evans – the winner would be guaranteed a shot at the British Welterweight Title. As you are reading this please spare a thought for Evans also as he must be currently living every boxers worst nightmare.
Mike Towell, like most boxers form this part of the world upon turning professional, contested all of his fights under the radar in unfashionable locations such as leisure centres, local town halls and small hotel ballrooms. This is a well worn path as new professionals scrap and claw their way up towards Scottish or British title level. Towell v Evans was a fight to reach that rung of the ladder where some main stream media may start paying attention. Unfortunately due to the dreadful outcome of the bout most media are now taking an interest in this fight.
It is perhaps indicative of human nature that at times we need something truly shattering to take place in order to re-focus our minds on the correct way to view things in life. In this case perhaps as boxing fans we should remember that regardless of the level tragedy can occur at any moment in any fight. It is easy to get drawn into arguments about our favourite fighters on social media, defending them with vigour, sometimes besmirching others to help us make our point. The reality is that not everyone can be a Mayweather, Morales, Golovkin or Lomachenko – whatever level an individual reaches in the ring deserves to be applauded and respected.
Ultimately we are all fighting an internal battle with ourselves anyway so as long as the people who glove up to test and attempt to better themselves achieve inner satisfaction from their efforts who are we to complain or criticise?
Today being Saturday means that there will be professional and amateur boxing cards taking place all around the globe. Whether you are attending a card, officiating or just watching on TV please enjoy the action but show appreciation for all those partaking in the fights and if you can allow for a quiet moment of reflection, a respectful moment for Mike Towell, his friends and family and also Dale Evans.
–Introduced to boxing by watching as a teenager with his Dad, Morrison really began to appreciate the sport during the Lennox Lewis era from the mid 1990s. Since those days he has developed into a passionate boxing fan, enjoying all styles of the fight game. His favourite fight is Barrera-Morales 1 and when time allows he enjoys travelling to attend big fights. Morrison began writing about the sport in July 2016. He hails from Scotland, United Kingdom where he lives with his wife and two children and can be found on Twitter @Morrie1981.