A 16-year-old North Hollywood boy died Thursday night at a hospital shortly after sparring at a Burbank boxing club and complaining of pain, authorities said.
The boy, Raul Alvarez Jr., was pronounced dead at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center about an hour after suddenly falling unconscious, police said. He had been brought to the hospital at about 6:45 p.m. complaining of pain.
An investigation into the cause of death by the Los Angeles County coroner was pending Friday, but Burbank police said Raul had been wearing protective gear around his head and lower body at the time he was sparring at Pullman’s Gym in the 4300 block of West Magnolia Boulevard.
On Friday morning, a handwritten sign on the door of the gym said it would be closed for a few days “in honor of Raul.”
Calls to the gym went unreturned Friday.
Burbank police Sgt. Darin Ryburn said it was an “unfortunate accident,” adding that the teen was sparring with someone about his same age and build, and gym staff members were on site supervising.
It was unknown if the teen had any previous medical conditions or what the source of the pain was, he added.
There have not been any reported problems at the gym since it opened about six months ago, Ryburn said.
Women next door at a hair and nail salon said they were shocked by the news.
At a laundromat a few doors away, Pam Russell said she had seen male and female teenagers sparring at the club during the day, when the gym seemed to be least busy.
“I’ve seen older teens, they may have been in their early 20s, wrapping their hands,” she said.
The gym offers a range of teen and adult boxing classes on its website and touts itself as being equipped with “the best gear.”
Staff writer Veronica Rocha contributed to this report.