On March 28, 2014 Dennis Munson Jr. stepped in to the ring at the Eagles Club in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to make his amateur Kickboxing debut.
He never returned home, he tragically passed away hours after the bout. The medical examiner ruled the cause of death to be complications from head trauma.
Kickboxing is a growing sport, especially in America. People head to Kickboxing gyms with the goal of fighting day in and day out, but not many actually make it to compete. It is grueling, hard, and takes dedication like any other combat sport. Munson’s debut should have been something to celebrate because he did something many never do, he stepped in the ring to fight.
Unfortunately for Munson the people in charge of his safety failed him. The ringside doctor, the referee and even Munson’s own corner failed to do their job. The cost of this failure was Munson’s life.
The entire fight was caught on video and had to be submitted to police for investigation.
There were four people that should have been looking out for Munson that night.
His two corner men. The ringside physician, and referee. The four individuals could have stopped the fight at the first sign of trouble, but none did.
In the video there are several occasions where you question what officials are looking at. As the fight goes on it becomes clear that something is wrong with Munson. Their intentions were not to get anyone hurt, but their actions led to something far worse.
Why bring up something that happened four years ago? Stuff like this should not be forgotten, people need to realize that Kickboxing and other combat sports are not like basketball and baseball. You can play those sports, playing around in combat sports can get you seriously hurt.
This should also be a reminder to anyone who plays a role in fighter safety; you need to be attentive at all times. Your actions can be the difference between life and death.
Since this tragedy the state of Wisconsin has passed a bill that regulates all combat sports. At the time of Munson’s death Kickboxing was not regulated by the state.
The video below shows Dennis Munson Jr’s fight and the tragic results. It was put together by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and highlights several of the instances when officials failed to do their job and includes input from other industry experts.