Lawsuit Filed Against Milwaukee-Based Camp Roufusport in Death of Kickboxer Dennis Munson Jr.

By Tristen Critchfield Mar 22, 2017
The family of late kickboxer Dennis Munson Jr., who died after making his amateur kickboxing debut on a card promoted by Roufusport, has filed a lawsuit against the Milwaukee-based gym, the ringside doctor and others involved with the bout.

The news was first reported by the Milwauke Journal Sentinel. Munson died hours after the March 28, 2014, bout as a result of head trauma. The lawsuit, which was filed in Milwaukee County Circuit Court, alleges that Munson was not properly protected during the unregulated bout. Munson was 24 years old when he died.

The complaint names Roufusport, ringside doctor Carlos Feliciano, referee Al Wichgers, coaches Scott Cushman and Joe Nicols, and promoters Duke Roufus and Scott Joffe. Munson trained at Roufusport prior to the bout. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants were negligent and showed “deliberate indifference.”

Munson’s death gained attention following an investigative piece in the Journal Sentinel, which scrutinized the promoters for not stopping the fight even as the young kickboxer stumbled around the ring. Munson was also not required to wear headgear in the bout and reportedly struggled to cut eight pounds to make the required 135-pound limit.

Video obtained by the Journal Sentinel shows Feliciano looking at his cell phone during the fight and Cushman, who was cornering Munson, propping the fighter up between rounds and slapping him after the bout just before he collapsed. Referee Wichgers failed to evaluate Munson’s condition and medical treatment was delayed even after the fighter fell to the canvas at the bout’s conclusion.

Kickboxing was not regulated in Wisconsin at the time of the fight, but a law to sanction the sport has since been signed by Gov. Scott Walker and took effect on March 1.

"I'm heartbroken my son is gone,” Dennis Munson Sr. told the Journal Sentinel. "I pray to the good Lord no one else gets hurt in that sport."

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