Boxer Patrick Day has died four days after sustaining head injuries in a Chicago fight with Charles Conwell. Promoter Lou DiBella said Day died Wednesday at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He was 27. "He was surrounded by his family, close friends and members of his boxing team, including his mentor, friend and trainer Joe Higgins," DiBella said in a statement on his website. "He was a son, brother, and good friend to many. Pat's kindness, positivity and generosity of spirit made a lasting impression with everyone he met." Day had brain surgery after being knocked out in the 10th round Saturday night at Wintrust Arena, the AP reports. Knocked down twice earlier in the bout, the junior middleweight was taken from the ring on a stretcher. From Freeport, New York, Day had a career record of 17-4-1 with six knockouts.
Day was a successful amateur before turning pro in 2013. "He was also a dedicated college student," DiBella said, "having earned an associate's degree in food and nutrition from Nassau Community College and, subsequently, a bachelor's degree in health and wellness from Kaplan University." Many choose the sport as a way out of poverty, but Day was from a middle-class family, per ESPN. "Patrick Day didn't need to box," DiBella said, adding, "Boxing is what Pat loved to do," despite the risks. He said he hoped Day's death leads to changes to make the sport safer. "It becomes very difficult to explain away or justify the dangers of boxing at a time like this," he said. (The fighter whose punch put Day in a coma wrote him an emotional letter after their bout.)