Former Southland-trained boxer Jamie Kavanagh escaped safely Friday when gunmen fired assault weapons at a weigh-in in Dublin, Ireland, killing one person, before the lightweight’s planned Saturday bout.
“Anyone asking I’m OK!” was posted on Kavanagh’s Twitter account. “Thanks you for asking. I was lucky today is all I can say … .”
Footage of the shooting emerged, showing an unknown boxer stepping off a scale just before gunshots erupted, with the man filming the chaotic scene rushing outside with a young girl believed to be his daughter.
The 25-year-old Kavanagh (20-1, 10 knockouts) has been haunted by gun violence, following the shooting death of his father in 2014 and an uncle last year.
The Daily Mirror in London reported that AK-47 assault rifles were used in Friday's attack, and the reason was not immediately known.
Formerly trained by Freddie Roach at Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Kavanagh saw his contract with Los Angeles-based Golden Boy Promotions expire last year and he told officials he sought to return home to help support his grieving mother and other family members.
He fought at Southland venues including Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, StubHub Center in Carson and the Phoenix Club in Anaheim.
“He was what you’d expect from an Irish fighter –- willing to exchange and always up for a fight,” Golden Boy matchmaker Robert Diaz told The Times on Friday. “We never got to find out how good he could be.”
Diaz said he received assurance by a text message from boxer-promoter Matthew Macklin that Kavanagh was fine.
Kavanagh was to headline a bout Saturday in Dublin that has been canceled.
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