Boxing trainer Diego Arrua died Friday night in Tijuana, Mexico following a heart attack while sitting ringside for his wife Sabrina Perez’s fight against Skye Nicolson. WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman confirmed Arrua’s passing on X. He was 58.
“It is with deep sadness that we have been informed of the sudden death of Argentine coach Diego [Arrua], who suffered a devastating heart attack during the Sabrina Perez fight in Tijuana,” Sulaiman said.
Diego Arrua was in his wife’s corner as she looked to defend the WBC interim featherweight title during a Matchroom Boxing event emanating from Auditorio Municipal Fausto Gutierrez. In the waning moments of the ninth round, Arrua could be seen shouting instructions to Perez when he suddenly collapsed. Fellow corner members and fans sitting ringside immediately knew something was wrong and got the attention of medical personnel who quickly responded to the situation and put Arrua on a stretcher. By then, it was too late.
Arrua was rushed to a nearby hospital before he was pronounced dead shortly after 9:30 p.m., local time.
“Our thoughts and condolences are with Sabrina Perez and your loved ones,” Matchroom said on X.
Skye Nicholson and Her Team Offer Their Condolences Following the Passing of Diego Arrua
Skye Nicholson went on to win the bout via a unanimous decision (99-91, 98-92, 97-93), but her team’s thoughts were only with her opponent and the family she shared with Arrua.
“Victory overshadowed by tragic passing Team Perez coach Diego [Arrua] during the fight,” Paui Ready, Nicolson’s career-long manager, said in an Instagram post. “Our wishes and prayers with them and their family.”