Boxer, 17, ‘chronically over-trained’ before dying in ring seconds after a fight

Boxer, 17, ‘chronically over-trained’ before dying in ring seconds after a fight

A teenage boxer who died seconds after a fight finished had “chronically over-trained”, an inquest heard.

Edward Bilbey collapsed in the ring shortly after a three-round bout in South Normanton, Derbs., on March 24, 2017.

The 17-year-old, who is known as Eddie, “suddenly” fell to the floor while waiting for the result of the fight.

Despite a number of desperate attempts to save his life, the young boxer later died in hospital, Chesterfield Coroner’s Court heard on Monday.

Forensic pathologist Frances Hollingbury said: “While waiting for the results he was standing in the ring and suddenly doubled forward to the ropes.

“He vomited and appeared to have some sort of seizure.”

The court heard an ambulance was called at 10.07pm and five attempts were made to save his life using a defibrillator.

Eddie, from Ripley, Derbs., was pronounced dead at 11.20pm at King’s Mill Hospital in Sutton-in-Ashfield.

After the teenager’s death his mother Michelle paid tribute to her son.

She said he had “given up the usual life of a 17-year-old” to concentrate on fulfilling his dreams.

“Come rain, shine or indeed any weather or any time of day you’d find Ed out running, pounding the streets, headphones in with one dream in mind – to be somebody in boxing, the best he could possibly be – a world champion one day, an amateur boxer for England now if he worked hard,” she said.

“He lived and breathed boxing; it was his life, his passion.

“It may be that that’s where his life ended but knowing Eddie as I do, he wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.”

The inquest heard that Eddie’s death may have been caused by the underlying heart condition, “excessive over-training” or a combination of the two.

His own journal showed he put himself through three punishing sessions per day.

In order to get his weight down Eddie would wrap himself in duvets and not take any fluid for lengthy periods.

However, there was no evidence he had been using performance enhancing drugs ahead of the East Midlands youth welterweight contest, the inquest heard.

Coroner Dr Robert Hunter issued a warrant for Jason Shinfield, owner of the gym Eddie trained at, to ensure he attends to give evidence.

Eddie had worn head protection throughout the three rounds and no concern was raised about any punches which had landed, it was heard.

After his death Eddie’s heart was examined by experts who found it was enlarged and had “an arc of scarring tissue” through myocardial fibrosis.

Myocardial fibrosis is an increased quantity of scar tissue in the heart, which may arise as a result of cardiac disease and/or extracardiac diseases.

Dr Mark Faghy, a senior lecturer in exercise physiology at the University of Derby, said there was evidence of “chronic over-training” ahead of the bout.

He said Eddie had trained during the day at University College Birmingham, where he was undertaking an academic course, and in the evening at Shinfield’s Gym in Alfreton.

Dr Faghy said these “multiple influences” on his training were “concerning”.

When asked by Dr Hunter whether Eddie’s heart condition and the physiological strain from excessive exercise could act together in a harmful way, Dr Faghy replied “yes”.

Eddie’s mum Michelle paid tribute to her “special angel” after the incident.

The inquest, expected to last five days, continues.

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