Junior featherweight Francisco "Frankie" Leal, who suffered an eighth-round knockout loss Saturday night to Raul Hirales in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, died Tuesday from a brain injury suffered in the bout. He was 26. Leal faced Mexican countryman Hirales on the Omar Chavez-Joachim Alcine undercard in a fight televised across Mexico and on Azteca America in the United States.
Hirales dominated the fight and knocked Leal down in the sixth round with a clean right hand. Then, in the final moments of the eighth round, Hirales connected with another clean right hand to the head, and Leal went down again. He initially beat the referee's count but immediately collapsed, and the fight was waved off with 10 seconds left in the round. Leal, nicknamed "Little Soldier," was immediately surrounded by medical personnel. He was taken from the ring on a stretcher and slipped into a coma. He was admitted to a hospital in Cabo San Lucas but later was transferred to San Diego, where he died.