- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 4, 2001

NEW YORK (AP) A light-heavyweight boxer, comatose for six days after he was knocked out in the waning seconds of a nationally televised 10-round fight, has died from his injuries.

Beethavean Scottland, 26, was pronounced dead at 10:36 p.m. Monday at the Bellevue Hospital Center, the facility announced. Scottland, who underwent two surgeries at the hospital, never regained consciousness.

The fighter was survived by his wife, Denise, their three children and a large extended family. Many of his family members stood vigil at his hospital bed in the days after the June 26 fight.

Scottland was knocked out by a left-right combination with just 37 seconds left in his 10-round bout with undefeated George Khalid Jones. He was initially able to answer questions in the ring but fell unconscious within minutes.

The fighter was rushed to Bellevue, where his condition deteriorated over the next 48 hours.

Scottland, a last-minute replacement when another boxer was injured, becomes the first boxer to die in New York since 1989. Super middleweight John Gross died of similar head injuries suffered in his bout.

On April 21, 19-year-old Cresencio Mercado died of a brain injury in Pueblo, Colo., a week after collapsing in the ring. On Feb. 16, 31-year-old Quinton Grier collapsed in the ring at the end of a bout and died of unknown causes in Joplin, Mo.

Scottland began boxing at age 12, turning pro in 1995. His record over his six-year career was 20-7-2, and the North Brentwood resident viewed the fight against Jones as the biggest bout of his career.

Scottland's addition to the ESPN2 card aboard the Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum was the result of two twists of fate. First, his fight against an opponent in Maryland was canceled when the other fighter suffered an injury.

That cleared the way for him to fight Jones, whose opponent had suffered a broken nose during training.

State boxing officials said last week that they were reviewing the fight, which is standard procedure whenever a boxer is seriously injured. Scottland suffered a subdural hematoma, a rupture of the veins between the brain and the skull.

Funeral arrangements for Scottland were pending.

A fund has been started for his family. Contributions may be sent to the Scottland Family Fund, in care of the Auxiliary to Bellevue Hospital, Room 100, 462 First Ave., New York, N.Y., 10016.

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