TAMPA - While a 30-year-old mother of two was being fatally pummeled in an amateur boxing competition, the doctor who was monitoring the bout was also busy taking pictures as the event's official photographer, her family's attorney said Wednesday.
The degree of medical oversight, coupled with a host of other questions about the qualifications of the referee and Stacy Young's smaller and more able opponent, are now at the center of the investigation into her death Saturday night in Robarts Arena in Sarasota. Young's death has prompted Toughman promoter Art Dore to put future bouts on hold, his Bay City, Mich., company said. Dore said in a statement his competitions are safe, but he intends to investigate whether more safeguards should be in place.
Four people have died in Toughman competitions in the past 10 months. Young's death from a brain injury has renewed calls for the events to be banned in Florida.
Young's opponent has been identified as Sarah Kobie, a 20-year-old cake baker from Bradenton. Sarasota police detectives have interviewed her, but would not comment on the investigation.
"Sarah feels terrible about it," said her father, David Kobie, in a telephone interview from his New York home. Because Dore does not offer more than $50 in prize money in Florida, the Toughman bouts aren't considered professional boxing and aren't regulated by the state. Boxers in professional fights are required to undergo strict medical evaluations and referees undergo rigorous training.
Tampa attorney Greg Kehoe, who is representing Young's family, said Wednesday that Young never knew how dangerous getting into the ring could be, nor did she know that others had died from injuries in Toughman bouts.
Young sustained several blows to the head during a three-round match. She collapsed in the ring and suffered a seizure.