Aussie boxing champ Skye Nicolson claimed a huge victory on Saturday night over Sabrina Perez, but it was overshadowed by the shocking death her opponent’s trainer and husband Diego Arrua.
Arrua was ringside for his partner’s interim WBC Featherweight title fight, before suffering a fatal heart attack while in Perez’s corner.
His collapse came between the ninth and 10th rounds of the fight, and he was unfortunately unable to recover.
The tragic news was confirmed by the WBC president, Mauricio Sulaiman, on social media, announcing that Arrua had passed away in Tijuana.
‘It is with deep sadness that we have been informed of the sudden death of Argentine coach Diego Arua, who suffered a devastating heart attack during the Sabrina Pérez fight in Tijuana,’ wrote Sulaiman.
The 58-year-old collapsed during the ninth and 10th rounds of Perez’s defeat on Friday
Skye Nicolson was heartbroken over the tragic incident during her title bout
‘The medical services did everything possible and he died at the QDEP general hospital.’
Perez ultimately lost the fight in a unanimous points decision, but was not in the ring when the result was announced.
A shattered Nicolson took to social media after the fight to pass on her condolences.
‘Today I’m leaving Tijuana with a heavy heart,’ she wrote on X.
‘All of my thoughts and prayers are with Sabrina Pérez and her family during this incredibly painful and horrible time.
‘My heart is broken for this warrior and I can’t even imagine what she is going through.’
Nicolson’s manager Paui Ready also took to social media, writing on Instagram: ‘Victory overshadowed by tragic passing (of) Team Perez coach Diego (Arrua) during the fight.
‘Our wishes and prayers with them and their family.’
Nicolson said she was ‘leaving Tijuana with a heavy heart’ following the win
The Aussie’s team have also sent their wishes and prayers to Perez’s family
The victory is a huge milestone for Nicolson’s professional career
Matchroom Boxing also offered Perez their ‘thoughts and condolences’.
‘RIP Diego,’ they wrote on X. ‘Our thoughts and condolences are with Sabrina Perez and your loved ones.’
The fight was broadcast on DAZN and was part of the Matchroom Boxing Show at Tijuana’s Auditorio Municipal Fausto Gutierrez.
Nicolson, who is undefeated as a pro, will be now eyeing a showdown with the great Amanda Serrano.