Hague’s death may spur change

For­mer teacher died as re­sult of in­juries from fight on Fri­day

Metro Canada (Toronto) - - SPORTS - Kevin Maimann Metro | edmonton

Edmonton of­fi­cials say they will call in a third party to re­view the cir­cum­stances that led to Tim Hague sus­tain­ing fatal in­juries in a box­ing match Fri­day.

The fighter and for­mer kinder­garten teacher’s death has sparked calls for stricter li­cens­ing and bet­ter pro­tec­tion for fight­ers, af­ter Hague was in­jured in the sec­ond-round of a box­ing match against for­mer Edmonton Eski­mos CFL player Adam Braid­wood in the Alberta cap­i­tal.

“We are deeply sad­dened by this tragedy and wish to ex­press our deep­est con­do­lences to Tim’s fam­ily and friends, and also the many stu­dents he taught and col­leagues he worked with in Beau­mont,” said Rob Smyth, deputy man­ager of city ser­vices.

Smyth spoke on be­half of the Edmonton Com­bat­ive Sports Com­mis­sion, which reg­u­lates pro­fes­sional com­bat­ive sports events in Edmonton.

Hague, nick­named The Thrash­ing Ma­chine, was hos­pi­tal­ized af­ter the one-sided loss Fri­day night, and his friends re­ported on so­cial me­dia that he un­der­went surgery to re­lieve bleed­ing on the brain.

His sis­ter, Jackie Neil, an­nounced his death Sun­day.

The 34-year-old was a for­mer teacher at Ecole Belle­vue School in Beau­mont, Alta., a small town about 30 min­utes’ drive south of Edmonton.

“This is a tragedy for ev­ery­one — his fam­ily, his friends and the school com­mu­nity that he was such an im­por­tant part of,” the state­ment read.

Hague was a heavy un­der­dog in the fight and ac­cepted it on only two week’s no­tice.

He was knocked down three times in the first round, while another fall was ruled a slip.

Ref­eree Len Koivisto stopped the bout af­ter two more knock­downs in the sec­ond round.

The com­bat­ive sports com­mis­sion has ex­tended its re­quest for re­ports to all ref­er­ees, ring­side judges, physi­cians, chief in­spec­tor, pay­mas­ter and the pre­sid­ing in­spec­tors as­signed to the bout.

Smyth said a post-fight re­view is com­pleted im­me­di­ately af­ter each com­pe­ti­tion, re­gard­less of whether there is a se­ri­ous in­jury.

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