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Boxer Sherif Lawal dies after being knocked out in professional debut in London

A British boxer has died after he lost on his professional debut in London, officials said.

Sherif Lawal was knocked down by a blow to the head from Malam Varela in the fourth round of a scheduled six-round middleweight fight on Sunday at Harrow Leisure Centre. The referee waved it off to allow paramedics to attend to Lawal. He was taken to hospital but died. He was 29.

"The British Boxing Board of Control sends their condolences to the family of Sherifdeen Lawal following his tragic passing after his Boxing contest on Sunday," the board posted on social media on Monday. "The thoughts of all those involved in Boxing in Great Britain are with them at this difficult time."

Warren Boxing Management wrote on social media: "We would like to send our condolences to all of Sherif's family, friends, coaches and all those close to him at this tragic time."

Other boxers have died from blows suffered in the ring in recent years.  In 2021, 18-year-old Mexican boxer Jeanette Zacarias Zapata died five days after she was knocked out and injured in a Montreal ring.

In 2019, 27-year-old boxer Patrick Day died after suffering a traumatic brain injury from a violent knockout in a fight in Chicago. That same year, 28-year-old Russian welterweight prospect Maxim Dadashev and 23-year-old Argentine lightweight Hugo Alfredo Santillan died of injuries suffered inside the ring. 

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