July 20, 2003

Boxer Bradley Rone is dead.

The (St. George, Utah) Spectrum reports (“Family, Friends: Boxer Brad Rone Died of ‘Broken Heart’,” by Jennifer Weaver, July 20):

All that was in his gym bag was a cellular phone, a pair of socks, $5[,] and a key to an apartment he will never open again.

Ohio native and heavyweight boxer Bradley Rone, 34, collapsed and died after the first round in a bout with Billy Zumbrun of Ogden [Utah] on Friday night. He accepted the last-minute offer to compete in the fight at the Cedar City Raceway on Thursday -- the same day his mother, Thelma Rone, died of heart failure in Cincinnati.

Devastated by her death, he was determined to win the $800 prize money to help pay for her burial expenses. But grief held deep inside was what friends and family say most likely killed him.

Of course, the fight’s promoter thinks that as well: “He died from a broken heart, not from anything boxing related,” The Spectrum quotes Sean Gibbons of Top Rank Inc. “The death of the guy was that he loved his mother, and he was just distraught over it.”

Ringside physician Dr. Randy Delcore, who cleared Rone before the fight and who performed CPR after Rone’s fall, suspects cardiac arrest.

Apparently the family agrees with the “broken heart” line, though I wonder:

The 259-pound Rone began boxing at the age of 23. He fought in more than 100 bouts and sparred with Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield. He possessed an undocumented record of 7 wins, 41 losses.[…]

That’s not a great record. Rone obviously took quite a few hits over the years. And, well, judging from the photograph published in The Spectrum, he wasn’t exactly in top shape.


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