New Brunswick boxer David Whittom, who had been in an induced coma since suffering a brain hemorrhage following a fight last spring, has died. He was 39.
His partner, Jelena Zerdoner, announced his death on Facebook on Friday.
“With a broken heart in a million pieces, I announce to you my friends that my David Whittom has joined the angels and my mother this afternoon,” she said in French.
“Rest in peace my champion.”
Whittom’s passing nearly 10 months after a knockout prompted an outpouring of support on social media from friends, fans and fellow boxers.
Brandon Brewer, a professional boxer and Canadian light middleweight champion from Fredericton, offered his “deepest condolences” to Whittom’s family.
“Every time Dave came down to Fredericton he would help me train,” Brewer said in a Facebook post Saturday.
“He was always trying to help guide me in the right direction. He always taught me to stay positive and stay focused no matter what.”
Whittom, a native of Saint Quentin, N.B., was once a promising super-middleweight who fought world title contenders.
Saskatoon’s Gary Kopas beat him by technical knockout with just 37 seconds left in the 10-round bout in May.
Whittom became ill hours later and was taken to hospital in Fredericton and later to Saint John, N.B., where he underwent surgery the next day.
He had twice considered retirement, hanging up his gloves briefly only to return to the ring.