Wednesday 13 December 2017

Sport Minister Michael Ring expects investigation into death of MMA fighter Joao Carvalho

Fine Gael's Michael Ring. Photo: Tom Burke
Fine Gael's Michael Ring. Photo: Tom Burke

Barry Lennon

ACTING-MINISTER for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring expects an investigation into the death of Mixed Martial Arts fighter Joao Carvalho.

Portuguese fighter Carvalho competed on the card at the Total Extreme Fighting (TEF) event at the National Stadium in the Irish capital, in which his fight with Irishman Charlie Ward was stopped by the referee in the third round.

Welterweight Carvalho was tended to immediately by medical personnel before being rushed to Beaumont Hospital where he underwent emergency brain surgery on Saturday night, but it was confirmed on Tuesday morning that he passed away the previous night at 21:35 after spending 48 hours in a critical condition due to his injuries.

Mr Ring expressed his sympathy to his family in a statement today after he died from injuries sustained at a fight in Dublin.

“I am deeply saddened by the news of the death of Joao Carvalho following an event in the National Stadium on Saturday evening,” Mr Ring said.

“I extend my deepest sympathies to his family. I expect that there will now be an investigation and I do not propose to comment any further until the results of that investigation are known.

The Minister recently urged extreme fighting promoters to introduce “appropriate safety standards in order to avoid, in so far as is possible, serious injury.”

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil’s spokesman on sport Timmy Dooley does not believe there is a need to talk of immediate regulation of the sport.

“In light of the death, I’d like to express the sympathy to his family and friends on behalf of myself and the party,” he said.

“This of course is an awful tragedy for his family and any discussion regarding regulation of the Sport is for another time.”

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