The world mourned when professional US boxer of Yemeni descent, Hamzah Aljahmi, passed away during a tournament in Connecticut in the US. Aljahmi, 19, collapsed after he received a direct hit to his head during an opening match in Ohio on 19 December that caused him to bleed internally. He died at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Ohio on 22 December.
Aljahmi fell three times during the match but resisted the pain. The referee and the audience were unaware at the time that the player was suffering severe internal bleeding. He was crowned champion of Renk Side International in August 2012 in Kansas City. The tournament included countries from North America, South America, and Australia.
He won all his international matches and beat the most prominent candidates for the title. The US boxer was very distinguished and observers predicted a bright future for him before he died fighting against the fierce boxer, Anthony Taylor.
This was not the only incident in 2015; Australian boxer David Brown passed away in September after being knocked out by the Philippino boxer Carlo Magali in Sydney.
Brown, 28, died fighting his 25th professional match. During his career, Brown won 22 times, lost twice, and drew in one fight. After being knocked out, he was moved to Sydney Hospital where he remained under observation for four days before he passed away.
Another incident took place in September in Cape Town, South Africa when South African boxer Mzwanele Kompolo, 22, was knocked out and died in the first round against Siphenathi Qampi.
The increasing occurrence of such incidents pushed human rights organisations to pressure the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) to take measures that the lives of boxers are protected, especially young ones.
Away from the ring, French boxer Alexis Vastine passed away in March. He had won the bronze medal in the welterweight tournament in Beijing Olympics and was qualified for the quarter finals of the London Olympics. Vastine died in a helicopter crash while filming a TV show with seven other athletes.
Former boxing champion, Jamaican boxer O’Neil Bell, was shot dead in Atlanta during a robbery. Bell was crowned WBO Champion, as well as World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council champion. The Jamaican boxer concluded his boxing career in December 2011 after knocking out Costa Rican boxer Rico Cason in the first round.