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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Boxing: Mississippi fighter dies after head injury during bout


Associated Press

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. An autopsy shows a Mississippi fighter died of blunt force trauma to the head after being knocked unconscious in a weekend heavyweight bout at Horseshoe Casino in Bay St. Louis.

Hancock County coroner Norma Stiglet said Francisco "Poncho" Moncivais, 21, of Laurel, died Saturday night at Memorial Hospital in Gulfport. Stiglet released the autopsy results Monday.

Moncivais, a former Golden Gloves Champion, was fighting only his second professional fight.

Officials said Bobby O'Bannon of Mobile, Ala., knocked Moncivais down in the fourth round Friday night.

Moncivais was attended by medics at ringside, became unconscious and was taken out on a stretcher to the hospital.

Mississippi Boxing Commissioner Jon Lewis, who said he did not attend the fight, told The Sun Herald newspaper that "I can't find anything wrong that happened."

"The feedback is that (referee Fred Steinwinder) did a good job. This is one of those cases where the blow killed the guy," Lewis said.

Lewis said Steinwinder grabbed O'Bannon's arm after the combination and stopped the next blow.

Lewis said he visited Moncivais in the hospital Saturday but he never regained consciousness.

"This is a shock to us all," Lewis told the newspaper. "We're not talking about a mismatched bout. He was a ranked amateur with a national title. Right now, I can find no blame on the referee. It was a good, fair stop."

Lewis said the Mississippi Athletic Commission is setting up a fund for Moncivais' family.

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Information from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com