Indian-origin bodybuilder dies after Thai kick-boxing match in Singapore

In a heart rending incident, an Indian-origin bodybuilder died in Singapore, an hour after he stepped into the ring for his first-ever Thai kick-boxing match.

World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Federation (WBPF) president Pradip Subramanian (32) had taken on You Tube personality Steven Lim (42) in the ‘celebrity’ Muay Thai match organised at Marina Bay Sands for the inaugural event of the Asian Fighting Championship (AFC) organised on Saturday evening.

He was rushed to the Singapore General Hospital after the fight.

Pradip Subramanian (left) fighting with his opponent Steven Lim in the Muay Thai kick-boxing match at Marina Bay Sands after which the former died.
Pradip Subramanian (left) fighting with his opponent Steven Lim in the Muay Thai kick-boxing match at Marina Bay Sands after which the former died. Photo courtesy: Asia Fighting Championship

Originally, Steven Lim was supposed to fight against another Singapore Idol alumnus Sylvester Sim. However, he had to pull out due to insurance issues.

The referee of the match called off the fight within five minutes as he noticed Subramanian’s nose bleeding. He declared Lim the winner of the fight.

A local daily reported that Subramanian took a few blows on his head but was still standing after the match ended. Later he appeared to be losing consciousness while in a corner, and had to be helped out of the ring.

A backstage member who did want to be named said, “In the first round, it seemed like Pradip was winning. But in the second round, Steven punched him a few times,.”

He added, “Initially I thought it was just a concussion; plus there was no sign of a heart attack. He was then sent to hospital via the ambulance. It was much later that I heard the news that he died.”

Event organisers of the fight said, “We are deeply saddened to share the news that Subramanian, exhibition match-up fighter and president of the World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Federation of Singapore (WBPF) has passed away at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH).”

Meanwhile, an AFC statement, citing a preliminary medical report from the Singapore General Hospital, said, “Subramanian suffered a cardiac arrest respiratory failure episode which led to his passing.

It added, “The final medical report will be released in 30 to 60 days.”

In a Facebook post, winner of the fight Lim paid tributes to Subramanian, writing, “Rest in Peace, my really truly respected fearless warrior and fighter."

Speaking to a local daily, Subramanian’s cousin, Roger Rajan, said, ‘ The family is in a state of shock. He was not supposed to be in the fight... I don't know why they put him in the fight.”

He added, “Subramanian was an amateur, having only taken up the sport about three to five months ago. He is just a weightlifter, he is not a fighter. It's a great loss for everyone, our family members.”

Ashraf Jamal
Ashraf Jamal – Senior Writer

Ashraf Jamal brings a rare depth to writing equipped with a degree in journalism, a postgraduate degree in political science, and a degree in law from the Allahabad University. His experience includes editing and publishing the Northern India Patrika and writing for Times of India for almost a decade covering just about any topic under the sun including NRIs and Indian diaspora.


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