Australian boxer Dwight Ritchie has died in a training accident, when he collapsed during a sparring session with Michael Zerafa and could not be revived. He was 27.

His promoter Jake Ellis confirmed the tragic news yesterday in a Facebook post, saying:

“It is with great sadness and shock [I have] to announce that the fighting cowboy Dwight Ritchie sadly passed away today doing what he loved. As Dwight’s promoter and friend it’s unbearable to accept the tragic news that’s just surfaced. Dwight will always be remembered by the boxing fraternity as one of the brightest talents in Australia [whose] fighting style embodied exactly how he lived. RIP Cowboy you’ll be forever missed.”

Ritchie was sparring with Zerafa, who was preparing for a rematch with Jeff Horn, when he “took a body shot, walked back to his corner and collapsed.”

Numerous friends and colleagues have paid tribute, including Tim Tszyu, who met him in the ring for the Australasian super welterweight title in August. He wrote:

“I am truly saddened by the passing of Dwight Richie. Only fighters understand the bond shared between them, especially those who shared a ring together. Rest In Peace to a true champion.”

Image: AAP / Bianca de Marchi