A 25-year-old Scottish boxer died Friday night after losing a bout for the first time in his career, the Guardian reports. According to CNN, "Iron" Mike Towell squared off against Dale Evans Thursday in Scotland in a British welterweight title final eliminator. Evans knocked Towell down for a second time in the fifth round, the match was ended, and Towell was removed from the ring on a stretcher. He later died at the hospital 12 hours after being taken off life support. No official cause of death has been given, but Towell's partner of eight years, Chloe Ross, says he had "severe bleeding and swelling to his brain," the BBC reports. Towell became just the third boxer to die from apparent fight-related injuries in the past 21 years in the UK.
"I'm absolutely heartbroken," says Ross, who had a son with Towell. She says Towell had been having headaches in the weeks before the fight, but his management team says they weren't aware of anything like that. An expert adds that Towell's medical information, including current brain scans, would have been checked before he was allowed to fight. "I am devastated, and all my thoughts are with Mike and his family," CNN quotes Towell's opponent, Evans, as saying. "He was an inspiration for the young kids," the head coach at Dundee Boxing Club in Scotland tells the Guardian. "We’re all gutted.” Towell had a career record of 11-1-1. (Read more boxing stories.)