SINGAPORE, Sept 24 — A last-minute replacement in the Asia Fighting Championship (AFC) fight with YouTube personality Steven Lim has died, following the fight yesterday evening.
World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Federation (WBPF) president Pradip Subramanian, 32, was rushed to the Singapore General Hospital after the fight.
Steven was originally supposed to fight against another Singapore Idol alumnus Sylvester Sim, who had to pull out due to insurance issues.
In a statement early this morning, the organiser said Subramanian died at 9pm yesterday at the Singapore General Hospital.
“We are in close contact with the medical staff at the hospital to ascertain the cause of death and request that during this difficult time we should come together and extend our support to Subramanian’s family, friends and associates and refrain from any speculation,” the statement added.
Steven had posted photos of himself on Facebook with the championship about four hours ago, along with the caption: “Pradip was rushed to the hospital no joke by ambulance!”
He has since taken down the post about his victory.
When contacted, Steven said: “I feel very sad — at first it’s an occasion to celebrate, but after the news, I feel devastated.”
He later posted about Pradip’s death on Facebook: “Rest in Peace, my really truly respected fearless warrior and fighter, Pradip Subramaniam!!! This is a very sad moment for me to learn about the shocking news!”
Speaking to TODAY, Subramanian’s cousin, Roger Rajan, 46, said the family is in a state of shock: “He was not supposed to be in the fight... I don’t know why they put him in the fight.”
He added that Subramanian was an amateur, having only taken up the sport about “three to five months” ago. “He is just a weightlifter, he is not a fighter.”
“It’s a great loss for everyone, our family members.”
An audience member Shaun Lim, 24, said the match was over in less than five minutes. “Both of them are not professionals so both looked exhausted,” he said.
He said Subramanian appeared to have had a stronger start in the first round, but Steven came back stronger in the second round, landing punches on his opponent. Steven then pushed Subramanian, which caused him to fall. “But it was like a soft fall,” said Lim, who did not think anything was amiss at the time as Subramanian had stood up and walked to the side of the ring.
“He (Pradip) looked normal, he just looking down only. His eyes were still open. The match had no blood,” Mr Lim recounted. “The fall looked like the kind of fall you could easily get on with. Which is why we thought it was going to continue.”
However, said Lim, he noticed Subramanian was panting hard. The referee then called the round a knock-out. Shortly after, Subramanian slumped at the corner of the ring with his head hung low. He was also attended to by a medical team before carrying him out of the ring.
There was a 45-minute pause before the next scheduled fight took place. “No one knew what was happening,” he said. — TODAY