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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 November 2005, 12:35 GMT
Dominican boxer killed in brawl
Former Dominican box champion Agapito Sanchez is mourned by his mother
Mr Sanchez death has shocked the Dominican Republic
A former boxing champion from the Dominican Republic, Agapito Sanchez, has died from his injuries after being shot during a bar fight near his house.

An air force sergeant opened fire on Mr Sanchez after being refused permission to dance with his girlfriend.

The sergeant was beaten up by Mr Sanchez's friends and is now under arrest at a military hospital.

Mr Sanchez - nicknamed "The Cyclone" - won the world junior featherweight title four years ago.

He had a reputation for comebacks and a scrappy boxing style.

Correspondents say his death has shocked the Dominican Republic, which is fanatical about boxing.

Public figures, including the sports minister, have filed past his coffin as a show of respect.

Chaos

Mr Sanchez, 35, died at a Santo Domingo hospital hours after undergoing surgery to remove two bullets from his stomach.

Witnesses said the boxer was playing a game of dominoes with friends at a local bar called Banana, when the air force officer came up to ask to dance with his girlfriend.

After Mr Sanchez refused, the soldier pulled a gun and opened fire. In the ensuing chaos, the sergeant was chased and badly beaten by the boxer's friends.

He was arrested at a military hospital, where he had gone to try to get treatment.

Mr Sanchez's family say they will campaign to ensure that justice is done when the case comes to court.

Correspondents say crime rates are high in the Dominican Republic, where many people carry weapons and arguments often end in gunfights.


SEE ALSO:
Country profile: Dominican Republic
16 Sep 05 |  Country profiles


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