Student boxer dies in amateur charity event, after collapsing during fight


Tennessee college student died in the middle of an amateur boxing match Friday night in Knoxville, authorities said.

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University of Tennessee junior Tanner Wray, 20, collapsed on the mat as he was walking to his corner in the second round of his fight in the 38th annual Ace Miller Memorial Boxing Tournament.

Wray, an aerospace engineering and science student from Lawrenceburg, Tenn., was boxing in the ninth bout of the night and appeared to be winning the fight according to a boxing official that was ringside.

The rest of the event, which is organized by Knoxville Golden Gloves, was canceled.

Wray, a former high school quarterback, was fighting for the Chi Phi fraternity, of which he was the Vice President.

Wray was given immediate medical attention, but attempts to revive him appeared to be unsuccessful according to eyewitnesses, and he was transported to UT Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

It did not appear any major punches were landed, witnesses say.

The following statement from Knoxville Golden Gloves was published by Boxingweekend.com:

With great sadness, we remember Joseph Tanner Wray and his family and the tragic loss that occurred on Friday, February 23, 2018. The entire Golden Gloves family is heartbroken by his passing and extend our most heartfelt condolences to all that knew and loved Tanner. 

Over the last 50 years, Knoxville Golden Gloves has worked to keep boxers safe and to avoid any serious injuries in over 6,000 amateur boxing bouts. 

On February 23rd, after the end of the second round, Tanner collapsed. Within seconds, a team of 11 medical professionals attended to him and provided care and transferred him to UT Medical Center. The doctors and nurses did everything possible to resuscitate Tanner, but were unsuccessful. 

After this tragic event, the remainder of the tournament was cancelled out of respect to Tanner. Golden Gloves is fully cooperating with all ongoing investigations and is hopeful the results will assist in preventing similar tragedies in the future. 


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