Former world champion says Michael Norgrove death highlights the dangers of boxing

PUBLISHED: 08:02 12 April 2013

Michael Norgrove

Michael Norgrove

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League

A former world champion who runs a boxing academy in Redbridge has said the death of fighter Michael Norgrove highlights the dangers of the sport.

Colin McMillan, once the WBO featherweight champion who runs his own boxing training academy at the Redbridge Sport and Leisure [RSL] centre in Forest Road, Barkingside, paid tribute to Norgrove today.

The Zambian-born 31-year-old, who lived in Woodford Green, died on Saturday, nine days after collapsing in a fight in Blackfriars.

He was taken to hospital with bleeding on the brain.

McMillan said: “It’s a tragic event and it highlights the dangers of boxing. We haven’t had a fatality [in the UK] in 18 years.

“It’s quite a long time but it shows that boxing is a dangerous sport.

“We have to take all the steps we can to make sure it’s as safe as possible.”

Norgrove was undefeated in professional contests and the Blackfriars fight was his sixth professional bout.

He had previously fought with the Repton Boxing Club in east London.

McMillan said: “I saw him fight as an amateur. He had a lot of potential and he was making a kind of comeback as a pro.

“I didn’t know him, but by all accounts he was a very nice person.

“You have to feel for his family.”

Former champ McMillan runs a number of classes in non-contact boxing techniques at RSL and inspired one of our Young Citizen nominees last year, Kiranjit Dhillon, to set up her own club.

He also has a programme at Wanstead Leisure Centre in Redbridge Lane West and will soon be taking boxing lessons to Beal High School, Woodford Bridge Road, Redbridge.

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