December 27, 2019
Friends tell the story of a fighter who did not need to box but chose to, and how his death at the age of 27 after a knockout punch has left them bereft
Death of a fighter: Patrick Day loved boxing, but it killed him | Donald McRae
“When the time came to say goodbye, I told Pat I loved him and I appreciated him,” Patrick Aristhene says as he remembers the moment before the machines were switched off and his best friend, the boxer Patrick Day, slipped away into death. Four days earlier, on 12 October 2019, Day had been knocked out in the last round of his 22nd professional fight, against Charles Conwell, in Chicago. He fell into a coma and the doctors soon knew they could not save him.
On a beautiful late December afternoon in Rockville Centre, near New York, with a low winter sun as gentle as the subject of our interview is hard, Aristhene recalls his final words in hospital. “I told Pat, ‘Hold it down that side and watch over everybody. I’ll hold it down this side till I see you again.’ I believe I’ll see Pat again. I believe the human spirit is powerful and, when we die, it goes on a journey. The Egyptians said it: ‘Death is only the beginning.’”
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