Boxer Boris Stanchov dies in the ring after fighting under his cousin’s licence in Albania
- Boris Stanchov, 21, took a £350 appearance fee for last Friday’s fatal bout
- Bulgarian had journeyed to the fight in Albania under his cousin’s licence
- Boxing world initially mourned his cousin Isus Velichkov before identity revealed
- Former head of Bulgarian boxing has called the Albanian federation a disgrace
A Bulgarian boxer has died in the ring fighting under his cousin’s licence in Albania, prompting outpourings of grief for the wrong athlete.
Boris Stanchov, 21, took a £350 appearance fee for Friday’s fatal bout against Ardit Murja, appearing under his cousin’s name, Isus Velichkov.
Stanchov was caught by a left jab before stumbling backwards and collapsing into the ropes beside his corner.
The youngster was rushed to hospital but is understood to have died from cardiac arrest.
Boris Stanchov (black shorts) was caught by a left jab and right to the midriff in the fifth before stumbling backwards and collapsing into the ropes beside his corner
The youngster was rushed to hospital on Friday but is understood to have died from cardiac arrest (pictured: Stanchov is attended to by staff, while his competitor Ardit Murja stands in the corner)
The boxing world mourned the death of his cousin, Velichkov, before his true identity was revealed.
Velichkov told BTV Bulgaria: ‘Since 2018 he had been fighting with my card. He told me there was a problem, the coach knew. I don’t know why he fought with my card. He said he didn’t want losses on his name.’
Velichkov said he was shocked when he heard about his cousin.
‘He was fighting in a professional match, but he’s not in the heavyweight division, so you don’t expect such a terrible tragedy,’ he told the Bulgarian broadcaster.
The former president of the Bulgaria’s professional boxing union condemned Albanian practices, suggesting that Stanchov was being paid to throw the fight.
The boxing world initially mourned the death of Stanchov’s cousin Isus Velichkov, including the World Boxing Council
Staff attend to the 21-year-old on Friday night, his family say he dreamed of becoming the next Kubrat Pulev, who held the European heavyweight title twice between 2012 and 2016
‘The Federation itself is a sham. The problem is, this boy had a ban. To avoid it, he played with someone else’s identity. He got his fake license with the help of the federation, I guess, because there is no other way,’ Georgi Ezekiev told Sport Live.
He added: ‘They are weak, they play to lose.’
His mother said Stanchov’s dream was to be like legendary Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev, who held the European heavyweight title twice between 2012 and 2016.