Death in the Ring: Experts describe what went wrong in fatal kickboxing fight at Eagles Club

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Published 2014-11-15
Amateur kickboxer Dennis Munson Jr. died after his debut fight in March 2014 at the Eagles Club in Milwaukee. Independent experts say there was a cascade of errors by fight officials.

All Comments (21)
  • Life Is Good
    The “professionals” who were supposed to be there to protect him truly failed this young man. Shameful.
  • Tennessee E
    A death is sad enough, a preventable death due to negligence and incompetence is absolutely sickening though.
  • HachiFPS
    I wasn’t expecting it to be that apparent. At the beginning it’s like, “Oh I can see how they could miss that”, but as it progresses, it just gets worse and worse. Everyone who was ringside failed, but the doctor is the most at fault in my opinion.
  • Both the ref and doctor should face criminal charges. He’s a professional and should be held accountable just like a police officer or paramedic. Accidents happen, but this is malpractice.
  • Fred Pendergrass
    This poor man was failed by the entire team of so-called experts whose number one job is to keep the fighters safe from injury. They failed him miserably. R.I.P. young man.
  • Rachel Amber
    I’m an ICU nurse and this is absolutely unacceptable, negligence. The doctor shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near this kind of thing ever again.
  • Mike Johnson
    That was extremely hard to watch. A completely and totally disgraceful abandonment of their professional and moral duties.... heart breaking.
  • Charles
    I've seen a lot of fights and this is the first time I see something like this. It is so disturbing to watch the poor man struggle for his life and none of the "professionals" did what they were supposed to do. No help whatsoever! And the way that doctor acted was completely shameful. RIP Dennis.
  • My deepest sympathies and condolences to the Munson family. The worst tragedies in life are often the ones that could have been prevented....
  • Alex Somerville
    this is absolutely SHOCKING!!!!!!!!!!!!! i cant believe this "fight" was allowed to continue after Round 2... ANYONE watching this could see the kid was in serious trouble. the people who were meant to look out for this kid ie ref,doctor,his OWN corner should be held accountable for their "lack" of action RIP Dennis Munson jr
  • Rocky Money
    Ray Charles could have seen the signs they missed. Absolutely unacceptable, the ref and doctor should lose their job and maybe even face Charges. Rest easy young man you were a true warrior who faught to the death and never gave up.
  • Jimmy Two Times
    His coach is by far the most to blame. He lifted him up from slumping so much . A win was more important then safety to him and that’s awful.
  • BluePriints-
    This guy is a warrior the man fought til the end when his body and mind were giving out on him RIP gladiator
  • VolsPride
    The referee DEFINITELY saw Munson's condition- it was impossible for an experienced referee like him not to notice it. But he knowingly erred on the side of "he-can-take-a-few-more-hits" rather than caution. Disgraceful that he threw aside his training like that to avoid disappointing the audience.

    And I can almost guarantee that it was all because the owners of Eagle club and the other managers have fostered a work environment where the workers are pressured to put "audience satisfaction" above all else, even fighter safety. This also explains the inaction of everyone else there.
  • Dziaji
    It is impressive that he remained standing the whole fight. Ironically, his toughness was his downfall. If he had fallen down or stopped defending himself, the fight would have ended, but he somehow kept fighting with a lethal brain injury. That is no excuse for the refs and doctors not to stop the fight though. He was clearly in no condition to keep fighting. I'm just amazed that he was ABLE to keep fighting.
  • Jonathan Still
    Extremely sad and negligent for the fighter's well - being. Even to the untrained but alert observer there were obvious multiple warning signs .
  • MCMLXXXIV
    Rest in piece, Mr. Munson. You fought gallantly!
  • Don Dawkins
    the fact that he kept fighting back and giving it his all even with head trauma and no balance is amazing. True warrior. Rest in peace**. I hope everyone involved is sued.
  • Jacob Boylan
    This was so terribly heartbreaking, hard to watch.. that young man trusted his coaches to teach and care for him.. they failed him in every way. Has me in tears. Rest in Peace.