Felix Bwalya (born October 27, 1970 in Chingola – died December 23, 1997 in Lusaka) was a boxer from Zambia, who competed for his native country at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. There he was stopped in the first round of the lightweight division (– 60 kg) by Tanzania's Rashid Matumla. Felix Bwalya fell into a coma after what colleagues said was a drinking spree following his controversial victory over the Briton Paul Burke in Lusaka. The Zambian boxer won a unanimous decision in the 12-round bout despite being knocked down and saved by the bell in the last round.
Bwalya, who was on medication for malaria, went on a two-day celebratory binge soon after the fight, friends said. He complained of a headache and was taken to the intensive care unit of the local University Teaching Hospital, where he lapsed into a coma.
The then Zambia's Minister of Sport, William Harrington, announced the suspension of the Professional Boxing Board of Control and said he had instituted an independent inquiry to investigate the circumstances surrounding Bwalya's death.
Bwalya,who was 26, was knocked down three times in the last three rounds and was on the canvas as the final bell sounded.
But he was ahead on points and won the fight despite vociferous complaints by Burke's camp, who claimed the final round was at least two minutes short.
Hilary Matyola, head of the Zambian Boxing Board of Control, had been suspended by Mr Harrington along with the rest of the board.
Mr Matyola said last week the board was discussing whether referee Hugo Mulenga should have stopped the 12-round bout.
- Professional boxing record for Felix Bwalya from BoxRec
- Zambian Fighter Dies After Victory from New York Times
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