Bare knuckle fighter Francesco Ricchi fighting for life in coma after punch

Bare knuckle fighter Francesco Ricchi has been left fighting for his life after sustaining a throat punch during a bout.

The boxer was taking on Noah Cutter at BKFC 14 in Miami, Florida, on Friday 13 when he took a punch in the first round that sent the fighter to the canvas.

Despite being caught in the trachea with a punch, Ricchi was able to get up and put down his opponent in the third round.

But the 175lb-division fight saw him pick up a haematoma on his throat, leading to bleeding in the lungs that got him hospitalised and put in a medically-induced coma.

BKFC president David Feldman said in a statement after the bout: “First and foremost our thoughts are with Francesco and his family at this time as we pray for a quick and full recovery.

“The injury did not deter Francesco from a victorious result on Friday night but complications during the surgery at the hospital have resulted in a greater issue to his health.”

Rich has since responded on social media, writing: “Nothing but respect from me Noah, what a dance that was!”

The organisation has also said that Ricchi’s throat injury led to surgery and complications that affected his condition.

Bare knuckle promoters are required to have fight-night insurance to cover the medical costs for injured fighters, with the minimum being $20,000 [£15,000] each in Florida.

But Ricchi’s coverage is not known, with Feldman simply saying: “We will be there for Fransesco and his family if needed.”

The bare knuckle fighter’s opponent took to his Instagram story with a message for the fighter following his hospitalisation.

Posting a snap of the pair after the fight, he wrote: “Prayers and best wishes to my opponent Francesco.

“I’ve been informed he’s in the hospital in a medically induced coma due to bleeding in his lungs from a haematoma in his trachea due to a throat punch during the fight. Obviously accidental.

“We come out here to hurt each other but I never want to see this for an opponent. Prayers from my family. Heal up.”

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