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GF boxer, hurt Saturday, dies today in Altru Hospital

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Jerimiah Moen, the amateur boxer who collapsed Saturday afternoon between rounds of a bout in East Grand Forks, passed away this morning, said his uncle, Mike Sweeney, who has been Moen's father since he was 12.

"We were always hoping and praying," Sweeney said this afternoon at Altru Hospital where Moen has remained unconscious and in critical condition since the fight. "He was a great fighter but a better person."

The family is gathered with friends at the hospital as Moen remains on life support during organ donation.

Moen was 29.

He boxed four years during high school and then returned to the ring last year, said Sweeney. In fact, Moen was named the Golden Gloves Tri-state champion last year after winning two bouts in Walker, Minn., Sweeney said.

The Golden-Gloves-sanctioned fight Saturday was held in the American Legion Club in East Grand Forks, Minn.

Eddie Obregon, coach of the Forx Fighters boxing club, said Moen collapsed after the first round of a scheduled three-round super-heavy-weight bout.

There had not been a "devastating" hit in the first round, Obregon told the Herald.

But Sweeney said the family learned that Moen had "serious trauma" to his brain from previous injuries, including concussions. "We don't know if it was from boxing or other things," he said.

"In no way is anyone blaming anybody," Sweeney said. "Nobody foresaw this. Obviously this will open the eyes of everyone in boxing that maybe they've got to have maybe a little more testing and things like that."

Sweeney said Moen's mother was his twin sister.

"After she passed away, I raised him and his sister since he was 12."

Moen worked in snow removal this winter.

"He was truly a loving person and will be truly missed, "Sweeney said. "There's literally hundreds of people up here" at the hospital.