British middleweight Sherif Lawal has died after collapsing in the ring during his professional debut on Sunday, fight organisers have said.

Lawal was knocked down by Portuguese opponent Malam Varela in the fourth of a scheduled six-round contest and the bout was waved off by referee Lee Every. Paramedics at the scene tended to Lawal, who was transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital but the 29-year-old died.

“Unfortunately during Sherif’s fight, he collapsed and despite the best efforts of the paramedics, he was later pronounced dead,” promoters Warren Boxing Management said in a statement.

The British Boxing Board of Control said in a statement: “Condolences to the family of Sherif Lawal following his tragic passing. The thoughts of all those involved in boxing in Great Britain are with them at this difficult time.”

The fight was the first on the card, with the event then cancelled.

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