Boxer dies at 27 after suffering injuries in ring and going into coma | Boxing | Sport

Boxer dies at 27 after suffering injuries in ring and going into coma | Boxing | Sport

The boxing world is mourning the loss of Ardi Ndembo, who has passed away after being put into an induced coma following a knockout loss earlier this month. He was 27 years old.

While representing the Las Vegas Hustle in the Team Combat League (TCL) – which divides boxers into teams and has them face off in 1-2 round fights – Ndembo suffered a brutal KO from Miami Assassin’s Nestor Santana. The Congo native, who entered the bout with an 8-0 record, remained down on the canvas for several minutes before eventually being transported to a Miami hospital.

According to Viva Promotions, Ndembo was ultimately unable to recover from the significant injuries he sustained in the ring. He leaves behind a wife and two children.

“We at Viva Promotions mourn the loss of Ardi Ndembo, a talented Congolese boxer who tragically passed away after a knockout in a Team Combat League match on April 5,” Viva Promotions wrote in a statement posted to X. “He remained in an induced coma until his untimely death. RIP Ardi Ndembo!”

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Ahead of the TCL’s match between the Orlando Vipers and Houston Hitmen on Thursday, the league honored Ndembo by tolling the ringside bell ten times.

“Ladies and gentlemen, tonight the boxing community mourns the loss of our very own,” the ring announcer began. “A member of the TCL family who represented the Las Vegas Hustle, Ardi Ndembo, originally from Brazzaville, Congo. Ardi, known as the ‘Silverback,’ was a champion in and out of the ring. Tonight we extend our deepest condolences to his family, his two children, his teammates and all those who loved him.”

The TCL organized a GoFundMe for Ndembo’s family, promising to match up to $25,000 of all third-party donations. As of Friday morning, over $9,000 dollars was raised for his children.

Jeff Mayweather, who coaches the Hustle and is the uncle of Floyd Mayweather Jr., discussed the risks of boxing on the heels of Ndembo’s terrifying knockout. “Boxing’s a sport where you grow up watching it and loving it, but there’s so much risk involved,” he told SunSport on April 17. “Anyone can lose their life from boxing. When something like this happens, it wakes up the whole entire world.

“I don’t think boxing’s a bad sport because you can die in any sport,” he added. “You drive a race car at 200mph, if it slides, you’re going to die too. You can die in any sport but boxing is a brutal sport.”

Mayweather conceded that not much else can be done in the TCL to prevent tragedies like Ndembo’s passing from happening in the future. “I was there. I didn’t think it would happen because this format is different to usual boxing,” he continued. “You have just one round, you’re only doing one round and I’d think almost anyone can survive one round.

“But in the heavyweight division in Combat League, someone always gets hurt or stopped so I mean it’s the heavyweight division. I don’t think there’s anything you can do to change it because it’s boxing and it’s just one round. One round of trying to do the best you can to win that round.”

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