Goodbye Dinamita: Argentine Lightweight Hugo Santillan Dies at 23 After WBC Bout
By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
Argentine super lightweight veteran Hugo ‘Dinamita’ Santillan has died at age 23
on July 25, 2019, after collapsing following his round draw for the World Boxing Council Silver Latino Lightweight title against Uruguayan fighter Eduardo Javier Abreu on July 20, 2019. The scorecards went three different ways. One judge had it 96-94 for Santillan.
Santillan, 19-6-2 with eight knockouts, Santa Fe, Argentina, collapsed as the scorecards were read at Club Atletico San Nicolas, San Nicolas, Argentina After slumping to the canvas, Santillan received oxygen from an oxygen mask, but had to wait five minutes until paramedics transported him to the hospital unconscious on a stretcher. There was no doctor to tend to him at ringside. Santillan’s nose began to bleed in round four, and Santillan suffered from kidney failure when he collapsed. Santillan underwent surgery for a clot in his brain at Hospital Agudos San Felipe, and went into cardiorespiratory failure twice. Santillan’s brain continued to swell, and his internal organs eventually failed.
Santillan was the son of boxer Hugo Alfredo Santillan, and came from the same Argentine geographic area as welterweight veteran Marcos Maidana. While his career never reached the heights or fame of the likes of Carlos Monzon, Oscar Bonavena, or Juan Domingo Roldan, in death, his boxing career made a statement. There should always be a ringside doctor and two Emergency Medical Technicians nearby to respond to the fighter immediately. Santillan was being held up in the ring waiting for the decision, when a fighter in such distress should be receiving immediate medical attention and transported to a hospital immediately.
Why Santillan’s corner, including his father, would not demand their fighter get immediate medical attention is both pathetic and absurd. With the death of super lightweight Maxim Dadashev, the 140 pound division has lost two professional fighters with winning records in the same week, which is an emotional tidal wave reminding all boxing participants and boxing fans of the urgent and immediate need to have qualified medical personnel at ringside at all times in the event a fighter is injured or something goes wrong inside or outside the ring, which can happen at any time.