News / Edmonton

Updated: City plans for third-party review into death of fighter Tim Hague

The 34-year-old Alberta athlete and former elementary teacher died from injuries sustained during a fight Friday.

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City officials say they will call in a third party to review the circumstances that led to Tim Hague sustaining fatal injuries in a boxing match Friday.

The fighter and former teacher’s death has sparked calls for stricter licensing requirements and better protection for fighters, after Hague was injured in a second-round technical knockout loss to former Edmonton Eskimos CFL player Adam Braidwood.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragedy and wish to express our deepest condolences to Tim’s family and friends, and also the many students he taught and colleagues he worked with in Beaumont,” said Rob Smyth, deputy manager of city services.

Smyth spoke on behalf of the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission, which regulates professional combative sports events in Edmonton.

Hague, nicknamed The Thrashing Machine, was hospitalized after the one-sided loss Friday night, and his friends reported on social media that he underwent surgery to relieve bleeding on the brain.

His sister, Jackie Neil, announced his death Sunday.

The 34-year-old was a former teacher at Ecole Bellevue School, which issued a statement Monday expressing “deep sorrow" over his passing.

"This is a tragedy for everyone — his family, his friends and the school community that he was such an important part of,” the statement read.

Hague was a heavy underdog in the fight and accepted it on only two weeks notice.

He was knocked down three times in the First Round, while another fall was ruled a slip.

Referee Len Koivisto stopped the bout after two more knockdowns in the second round.

The combative sports commission has extended its request for reports to all referees, ringside judges, physicians, chief inspector, paymaster and the presiding inspectors assigned to the bout.

Smyth said a post-fight review is completed immediately after each competition, regardless of whether there is a serious injury.

He said the city met with the commission twice Monday and will move forward “as quick as we can” to find an individual or organization to take on the third-party review, and then determine what steps need to be taken.  

Alberta is the only province that does not have a provincial commission regulating combative sports events, which is something Smyth said the city has been pushing to change for several years.

A family member of Hague's has started a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money for funeral expenses.

With files from Canadian Press

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