North Dakota boxer in critical condition after boutTwenty-nine-year-old J.J. Moen suffered a severe brain injury, according to his uncle, and is in the Altru Hospital surgical critical care unit in Grand Forks.
By: Greg DeVillers, Forum News Service
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — A Grand Forks boxer is in critical condition after collapsing during an amateur boxing card Saturday.
J.J. Moen suffered a severe brain injury, according to his uncle, Mike Sweeney, and, as of this morning, hadn’t regained consciousness. The 29-year-old Moen is in the Altru Hospital surgical critical care unit.
“The doctors told us that, on a scale of 3 to 15, with 3 being the worst, he’s at a 3," Sweeney said. “We’re just praying for the best. He’s a true, true goodhearted young man."
Forks Fighters boxing club coach Eddie Obregon said Moen, who is a member of Forks Fighters, collapsed after the first of a scheduled three-round super heavyweight bout at the East Grand Forks American Legion Club.
“It wasn’t a big, devastating hit that knocked him down," Obregon said. “It was regular boxing. He finished the first round, went to his corner to sit down and he seemed to have a seizure. He slumped down on his stool, and we had him down on the mat right away. The ringside doctor attended to him right away.
“His headgear was on during the fight. His gloves were on. He’d passed his physical. Everything was done right."
Sweeney said Moen took one blow to the head during that match that seemed to stagger him, but he continued and finished the round.
As recently as Feb. 9, Moen, a veteran boxer, had fought in a bout in Fargo, N.D.
“The doctors told us that a lot of the problem appears to come from a previous injury he’d had, possible (previous) concussions," Sweeney said. “That’s what led to this horrible thing. That was all new to us. Otherwise, if we had known that, he wouldn’t have been in the ring."
Obregon said this is the first such incident he can recall in the Grand Forks area.
“I’ve been around boxing for 47 years, and we’ve never had something like this happen before," he said.
Greg DeVillers writes for the Grand Forks Herald of Grand Forks, N.D. The Grand Forks Herald and the News Tribune are Forum Communications Co. newspapers.