Rookie white-collar boxer dies after being pitted against nine-year-old kickboxer, inquest finds

A white collar boxer died after collapsing in the ring fighting a nine-year-old kickboxer at a charity event, an inquest heard. Dominic Chapman was pronounced dead in hospital after fighting at an Ultra White Collar boxing event at Tramps nightclub.

The UK events company was today charged with a “quiet job” in a car park following the tragic death of the son, brother and much-loved friend, Worcestershire Coroners Court heard. It was a claim rebuked and branded “ridiculous” by Ultra Events – whose charity matches have seen three boxers die since 2017.

The court heard how the 26-year-old, who “lit up people’s lives”, underwent eight weeks of training for the fundraising bout held at the Worcester venue on April 9, 2022. More concerns about the boxing bout appeared as a result of the six-day investigation; going from matching his opponent to extensive footage of the night that was deleted by the Ultra Events staff.

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Karl Hirst, representing Dominic’s family, also questioned the car park meeting with fellow attendees days after his death. He said: “There was a meeting after the event with the boxers, that’s right it was in a car park and one of the boxers described the meeting, he says it smelled like a quiet affair. Was anything said in this meeting to create that impression?”

Responding, Ultra Events director Jon Leonard called it a “ridiculous suggestion”, adding that “there is no suggestion to stop reporting”. He said: “We wanted to meet the participants and let them know what happened.”

Addressing claims that not everyone was informed about the meeting, he added: “I’ve emailed everyone, repeatedly offered psychological support. As far as meeting in a parking lot is not ideal, but I don’t think there is an ideal place under these circumstances.

“We wanted to do it right away, so we wanted to do it on Tuesday. The place where we met was close to the gym (we used to train). In hindsight, we could have met somewhere else good.”

Dominic Chapman with father John and brother Joe(Image: Joe Chapman)

Ultra Events participants, who sign forms acknowledging the risk of “life-threatening injury” before training and a separate form warning of the risk of “serious injury” during the night, must attend at least half of the training sessions. training to participate in the match.

This was a measure introduced following the death of Alistair Peck, who suffered a fatal head injury during a match in 2017, the inquest heard. In Dominic’s case, Mr Hirst said his opponent had “ordinary kickboxing experience and Dominic had no significant training experience prior to embarking on the Ultra Event”.

His opponent trained twice a week for nine years in kickboxing, the court was told. This, Mr Leonard agreed, “should have been brought up” as he “asks for details of this” on a pre-training questionnaire. “I don’t think there was any suggestion from anyone that it was an unfair match,” he added.

After collapsing, Dominic was taken to neurologists at a Birmingham hospital on a journey that took an hour and a half. It is not part of Ultra Event’s assessments to check the “adequacy of local facilities”, the court was told. Mr Leonard said: “In the advice I received, they did not suggest that he should be in a certain ‘neuro’ hospital range; no one in 15 years has suggested that. We would not rule out certain places because the hospital is too far.

Dominic Chapman(Image: Joe Chapman)

“Nationally, there has never been a concern about the distance between the venue and the hospital.” As part of the event, the company arranged for a paramedic and two technicians to be present at the venue – prompting questions about why a doctor is not used to assess whether a participant is “fit to fight”, as is the case in England Boxing. .

“The expert evidence clearly states that a trauma-trained paramedic is in a better position to help someone than a doctor,” Mr Leonard said. He went on to add: “We will always review what we do, I’ve already made some notes of the things the coroner said.”

Since Dominic’s death, Ultra Events told the court it had overhauled its procedures, including “reducing the amount of time people box”, becoming ISO regulated from the end of 2023 and changing boxer insurance to automatic opt-in. Mr Leonard added: “We are doing everything we can to make events safer. We consider this all the time and make small changes.”

The hearing continues.