Real Sports: Joe Higgins: “A day doesn’t go by I don’t think about it”
Last October, 27-year-old boxer Patrick Day died due to a traumatic brain injury he sustained in the ring. Correspondent Jon Frankel sits down with his trainer Joe Higgins as well as Day’s three brothers, all of whom are grappling with Patrick’s death and the sport of boxing itself.
Day was born to Haitian immigrants in Freeport, New York, and was the youngest of four sons. His father was a doctor who used to box as a child, while his mother, Lyssa, was a translator at the United Nations.
During his professional boxing career, he earned an associate degree in nutrition from Nassau Community College, and a bachelor's degree in health and wellness from Kaplan University.
Day started boxing in 2006 under the guidance of former firefighter and boxing trainer Joe Higgins. In 2012, he won the New York Golden Gloves tournament. His amateur record was 75-5, including two national amateur championships. He was recognized as the number-one ranked boxer in the United States in the 152-pound amateur division, and served as a 2012 United States Olympic team alternate.
Day rose to be a top-10 ranked junior middleweight for the IBF and the WBC. He also captured the regional WBC Continental Americas title and the IBF Intercontinental title at 154 pounds. Day won 17 of his 22 professional fights, with four defeats and one draw.
Day suffered a traumatic brain injury during a knockout loss to Charles Conwell in a USBA super welterweight title bout on October 12, 2019, and died four days later.
Boxing announcer Michael Buffer described Day as a "wonderful young man" and that "everyone in the boxing community is crushed", while WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said boxing had lost a "brave, kind and wonderful friend". Conwell posted an open letter online that expressed his sorrow and regret.
Program: HBO REAL SPORTS
Date: 10pm, Tuesday, Feb 25
Producer: Chapman Downes.
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Director, HBO Media Relations