On the day Portuguese MMA fighter Joao Carvalho died following a fight, the father of his opponent said his son is not responsible for the death because he was holding back in the final round.
Charlie Ward fought and beat Carvalho on Saturday in Dublin before the Portuguese fighter died in the hospital Tuesday. Ward’s father, also named Charles Ward, spoke on the radio half an hour after he learned of Carvalho’s death.
“Charles told me there was no way was he hitting him hard in the last round because he knew he had him beat,” the father told RTE Radio 1.
The fight ended when Carvalho was knocked down and Ward jumped on top of him and pummeled the Portuguese fighter’s head over and over before the referee finally called him off. Total Extreme Fighting said Carvalho was sent to the hospital and was treated for two days before he died.
“He didn’t go to kill anyone,” the father said. “It’s just one of these unfortunate things.”
Portuguese MMA fighter Joao Carvalho died after competing in a Total Extreme Fighting event in Dublin against Charlie ‘The Hospital’ Ward.
Ward Sr. said he did not attend the fight and hadn’t seen it in its entirety.
“The referee could have been in a bit quicker,” the father said, though he admitted he did not know the particular rules of the fight. He also noted that there is less padding on MMA gloves than boxing gloves.
Asked if he wanted his son to keep fighting, Ward Sr. said he can’t tell his son what to do but admitted, “It could have been him the same as that young lad.”