By BRENDAN McGARRY, [email protected]
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The 28-year-old Queensbury man who died shortly after sparring in a city boxing ring in February succumbed to multiple traumatic head injuries linked to recent boxing, a coroner said on Monday.
Richard J. Hermance Jr. died Feb. 2 at Saratoga Hospital following a few rounds at Saratoga Youth Boxing Association’s gym on Weibel Avenue. He was training for his upcoming amateur debut.
Hermance reported feeling dizzy after the training session — three, two-minute rounds with a minute rest in between — and collapsed in the locker room. He and his partner were wearing headgear and gloves.
A preliminary autopsy showed Hermance suffered from a cerebral concussion, which is generally consistent with a blow to the head.
A final autopsy, however, revealed he suffered from multiple recent brain injuries brought on by the sport, according to Saratoga County Coroner Thomas Salvadore.
“We believe that he had had injuries for maybe the past week, or even earlier than that,” he said. “Those past injuries … along with the acute injury he got the day he was boxing … caused his death.”
At least once in the days before he died, Hermance performed several rounds of heavy training in preparation for a March 5 bout at the Holiday Inn.
The final autopsy results were confirmed at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, a U.S. Department of Defense agency in Washington, D.C. that specializes in expert medical opinions.
“In this case, we wanted to know, ‘To what degree did boxing have on his death?'” Salvadore said. “We can link it to the sport.”