A bout in this year’s Queenstown Thriller in the Chiller has been cancelled because of injury.
Brit Aaron Cook’s been ruled out after being rushed to hospital following a seizure last week.
Scans found a pre-existing condition resulting in weakened blood vessels.
Combined with the accumulation of sparring sessions over time this likely led to the seizure.
Cook, who was meant to take on Ireland’s Shane Byrne, says he’s gutted.
“It’s going to be hard. It really hit home when the line-up was announced and I realised we were going to be last on the bill.”
The 25-year-old feels rubbish his injury means Byrne can’t fight. But his opponent’s made it clear Cook’s health is more important.
The injured Brit’s got no regrets and is looking forward to the event.
He’ll cheer on his fellow blue corner contenders and have a few pints with Byrne when it’s all finished.
Thriller organiser Simon Green says it’s a huge blow to Cook who worked extremely hard during bootcamp and stood out early on as one of the strongest boxers.
“Both these guys have given everything they had over the past four months. They have been very supportive of all the other contenders and it’s such a shame they won’t now get to experience the pay-off on the night.”
Green reckons it’s rocked the whole group but says boxer welfare must be the first priority.
Each boxer is monitored closely and if anyone takes a heavy knock they are stood down from sparring immediately.
While the cancellation’s disappointing, he says it’s not something they can control.
This is the fourth time a Thriller contender has had to withdraw weeks out from the tournament due to injury. In previous years organisers have brought in a replacement - something they were unable to do this time round.
See this week’s paper for our Thriller in the Chiller feature