Boxer and Victoria resident Adam Braidwood says he told opponent Tim Hague that he loved him after their fight Friday night in Edmonton. Hague, seated, later died from injuries sustained in the bout. (Twitter)

Victoria trainer Adam Zugec devastated following boxer Tim Hague’s death

Zugec was in fighter Adam Braidwood’s corner during fatal fight with Hague

Adam Zugec says there’s a common saying among boxing and mixed martial arts trainers that fighters need to be protected from themselves.

“My job as a coach is to make sure that fighters don’t put themselves in positions where they could get hurt,” he said.

On Friday night in Edmonton, Zugec was in Victoria resident Adam Braidwood’s corner when the fighter delivered what proved to be a fatal blow to Tim Hague in the second round of their heavyweight bout. Hague, an ex-UFC fighter who had reportedly been knocked out in a fight as recently as December, died two days later.

Zugec, who trains fighters out of Zuma Martial Arts and Fitness in Vic West, spoke to the importance of the relationship between trainer and fighter in an interview with Black Press on Tuesday, while making it clear that he wasn’t familiar with Hague’s coaching situation.

“I’ve had people decide to not train with me because I wouldn’t let them fight, and I’m okay with that … I treat every situation that my fighters are in as though they could die and I think when you take it that seriously, you take precautions,” he said.

Days later, the events that transpired that night still didn’t feel real for Zugec, who says he gave Hague a hug and wished him well moments before the start of the fateful bout.

“I really am at a loss. I’ve lost a friend and I think right now we’re just really concerned for Tim’s family and we’re concerned for [Braidwood],” he said. “Here’s a guy that’s changing his life through boxing and now this happens.”

Braidwood, a former first overall pick of the Edmonton Eskimos, took up boxing after serving time in prison for a sexual assault charge. By all accounts, the 32 year-old has gotten his life together since then and found redemption in the ring.

“I take responsibility for everything that I did,” he told the Montreal Gazette earlier this year.

“I have guilt about the whole thing. A lot of people have to live with the damage [I inflicted]. I hurt a lot of people I care about. I’ll never really be proud of myself.”

Braidwood appeared to be on the verge of tears when he put out a video statement on his Instagram account yesterday offering his condolences to Hague’s family and asking the public to support them.

“Tim and I were friends. We spoke beforehand. We just wanted to make a beautiful fight for everyone,” he said.

Zugec says that he, Braidwood and fellow trainer Sarah Kaufman have leaned on each other over the past few days and that they are receiving counselling. He added that the support Braidwood has received from the public has helped.

“I think the support has made all the difference in the world. It would be so easy for someone to succumb to something like this, and I know I did. My first reaction was ‘that’s it, I’m done. I’m never coaching a professional fighter again,’” Zugec said.

“At least in my experience it’s been 100 per cent support [from] people really authentically hurting for us, knowing that we are all friends and that we were friends with Tim and that this is the last thing we wanted.”

joel.tansey@goldstreamgazette.com

Twitter: @joelgazette

Just Posted

Speed skating a family affair for View Royal twins

Kieran and Kyle Brown set to compete in B.C. Winter Games

Belmont Student Voices: Influential teachers, good or bad, play a crucial role

Chances are you’ve had an influential teacher at some point in your… Continue reading

Hatley Castle 8K takes place this Sunday

Royal Roads race is the fourth in the Vancouver Island Race Series

Grade 11 student gains leadership experience in 4-H club raising goats

Mira Finkelstein enjoys spending time mentoring younger members of the club.

Watch for high winds today and tomorrow

A wind warning is in effect for Greater Victoria. According to Environment… Continue reading

WATCH: Vancouver Island man catches dashcam video of near head-on crash

Video shows oncoming van cross over centre line

B.C. files new legal action against TransMountain pipeline

Province tries to uphold City of Burnaby bylaws, provoking Alberta

BCHL Today: Powell River stuns Vernon and BCHL grads lead Team Canada

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Reports of money laundering in B.C. real estate ‘troubling’: attorney general

News report alleges people connected to fentanyl trade are using B.C. real estate to launder money

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Two more medals for Canada, and men’s hockey loss

Team Canada shines on the speed skating track, but fall short against the Czechs in hockey

Air ambulance used parking lot for patient transfer because it was most efficient option

Lack of certification for helipad at Comox Valley Hospital not a factor in decision

Letter: West Shore needs vested interest to achieve rapid transit

Mayor Stew Young is at odds with the CRD board over its… Continue reading

RCMP member challenges court to prevent further disciplinary action

RCMP member launches appeal to avoid new hearing over alleged harassment

Port of Vancouver program examines impact of marine noise on local whales

Man-made noises can interfere with orcas’ ability to hunt and communicate with other pod members

Most Read