THE boxing world has been left reeling following the tragic death by suicide of Olympic bronze medallist Darren Sutherland.
The 27-year-old Blanchardstown man was found dead in his flat in Bromley in London by his manager, Frank Maloney, on Monday afternoon.
The promoter is understood to have collapsed following the discovery and is being treated at a London hospital after suffering a heart attack.
Hundreds of messages have been posted on the boxer’s website as friends and fans alike expressed their shock at his sudden death.
Tributes to the Olympic star also poured in from the boxing world on both sides of the Irish Sea.
Sutherland claimed three Irish senior titles, two European Union gold medals and an Olympic bronze medal while boxing for Ireland out of the St Saviour’s Club in Dublin.
The young boxer, whose parents live in Navan, Co Meath, was due to fight his fifth professional bout against Tony Jeffries in Sunderland next month.
President of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association Dominic O’ Rourke said he was “totally shocked” by the news.
“He was such a popular young lad within the association. He talked to all the kids and they loved him.
“He always believed he would qualify for the Olympics and would win a medal, and he achieved it. He was a star of the show,” he said.
President of the Olympic Council of Ireland Pat Hickey described Sutherland as the “life and soul” of the Irish Olympic squad.
“His Olympic colleagues enjoyed his irrepressible good humour and his keen interest in all of the various sports that Ireland participated in. He was simply a superb individual who had time for everyone. He will be sorely missed.”
James DeGale, the man who beat Sutherland at the Beijing Games, said the Dublin boxer was “a gentleman”. The pair had been tipped as a dream world title match-up in the coming years.
“It is a tragedy. First and foremost, my heart goes out to his family. I just could not believe it; my heart went to the floor when I heard.”
“He was a big part of my Olympic medal journey. I just do not know what to say except he was a brilliant fighter, in fact an excellent fighter. He was a gentleman outside the ring as well.”
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