Boxing coach dies of a fatal heart attack during wife’s world title match

Boxing coach Diego Arrua has left an indelible mark on the sport, passing away tragically during a pivotal moment in his wife’s career.

At the pinnacle of Sabrina Perez’s interim WBC featherweight title clash with Australian Skye Nicolson at Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing show in Tijuana, Mexico, the 58-year-old Argentinean coach suffered a fatal heart attack.

The incident occurred between the ninth and 10th rounds at the Auditorio Municipal Fausto Gutierrez, witnessed by a global audience via DAZN. WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman shared the somber news on social media.

Sulaiman conveyed, “It is with deep sadness that we have been informed of the sudden death of Argentine coach Diego Arrua, who suffered a devastating heart attack during the Sabrina Perez fight in Tijuana.”

He further added, “The medical services did everything possible and he died at the QDEP general hospital.”

The event’s promoter, Matchroom expressed their condolences in a tweet and extended sympathies to Sabrina Perez and her loved ones. They tweeted: “Our thoughts and condolences are with Sabrina Perez and your loved ones.”

Kevin Campion of Boxxer echoed the sentiment, stating: “Deeply saddened by the news of Diego Arrua’s passing. Our hearts go out to Sabrina, their family, and all those close to them. This tragic event reminds us of life’s fragility, and our thoughts are with everyone affected.”

Perez was absent from the ring when the decision was announced. This marked the second loss of her career and her first match outside of Argentina. Nicolson secured victory through a unanimous decision, clinching the WBC interim featherweight title and her eighth consecutive win.

In a heartfelt interview with Argentine outlet El Destape back in August, Perez expressed her profound connection with her husband and mentor.

She stated: “At this point I couldn’t be with another coach other than Diego, no one is going to take care of me like him. We get along well and we complement each other. At a glance we already know when things are good or bad, in life as in fights.”

The tragic demise cast a shadow over the event in Mexico, even as Angel Fierro claimed victory in the main event against Brayan Zamarripa via split decision.