Monday 18 December 2017

'I was struggling to eat, I cried for days and days' - Welsh boxer opens up after opponent died following fight

Credit - Dale Evans Twitter
Credit - Dale Evans Twitter

Jack O'Toole

Welsh boxer Dale Evans says he struggled to eat and leave his house after his last opponent Mike Towell died following their fight in Glasgow last September.

Towell (25) died at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital just a day after his fight with Evans in a St Andrew's Sporting Club bout at Glasgow's Radisson Blu Hotel.

Evans said that he had considered quitting boxing after Towell's death, and that the struggled to eat and live in the months that followed his opponent's passing.

"I did not want to be seen. I did not even feel like going out," Evans told Jason Mohammad on BBC Radio Wales on Monday.

"I was just in the house, in my bedroom, I was struggling to eat. My heart was broken by what happened that night and I cried for days and days.

"I was low, but it was not about me. I didn't want it to be about me, that's why I couldn't go out."

Towell was knocked down twice in a fifth-round loss to Evans before he was rushed to hospital after suffering serious injuries in the fight, with his partner Chloe Ross confirming that the fighter had endured severe bleeding and swelling to his brain.

He was pronounced dead at 11:02pm the night after the fight, with his family by his bedside after he was taken off of life support.

Evans then went to the Scot's funeral, and sought out his mother Tracey, who he was unsure of given the nature of Towell's death.

"It was frightening," added Evans. "I didn't know what reception I would get. I was so glad I went because the reception I got, not only from his family, but friends of Mike and the Scottish people in general was so supportive.

"I came out of the chapel and walked down the steps and a car pulled up and Mike's mum got out. She gave me a big hug and a kiss and she said: 'Stop being silly.'

"I admire the strength of that woman."

Evans was supposed to make his return to the ring for a Welsh welterweight title fight last weekend, but had to pull out of the bout with an elbow injury.

The 25-year-old is now eyeing a May return with plans to fight for the British welterweight title.

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