Issue | News | Premium | Oct 01 2019

The inside story of Francisco Fonseca’s late, late pull-out

John Evans on a series of unfortunate events in Manchester. A tale not for the squeamish
Francisco Fonseca
Action Images/REUTERS/Steve Marcus

BOXING fans tuning into Channel 5 for last Saturday night’s promising WBA International super-featherweight title fight between Alex Dilmaghani and Francisco Fonseca instead found themselves watching a documentary about prison life. Those joining the show late could have be forgiven for thinking they were watching a gritty pre-fight featurette about the redemptive qualities of the sport but the late change to the schedule was down to the real-life drama unfolding at the University of Bolton Arena. Rumours of Fonseca vomiting outside the arena had been circulating from the moment the 25-year-old Nicaraguan and his team arrived at the venue but the scale of his problem didn’t become apparent until he broke away from referee Michael Alexander’s final instructions to violently throw up. The ringside doctors were immediately called.

“There were people reporting that he walked into the venue feeling unwell. He hadn’t been vomiting but he was feeling nauseous and gagging. It was then reported by the team from the British Boxing Board of Control that he was feeling disorientated and staggering. He was basically deteriorating. He was vomiting excessively so we also had a bad case of dehydration,” ringside doctor, Christina Galatou, said.

“I was asked if I wanted to reassess him later to give him a chance to fight but based on the facts that had been reported to me and given what I witnessed, it wasn’t safe to go ahead. Everybody was on board that this was a fight that shouldn’t take place.”

 

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