Vassilis Topalos Dead at 16: Boxer's Death Under Investigation

Vassilis Topalos, a 16-year-old Greek boxer, died this week after suffering injuries during sparring matches back in December, according to Euro Weekly News. The injuries happened on Dec. 16 at a gym in Kallithea, a district of Athens. Following Topalos' death, the Hellenic Boxing Federation announced that a boxing tournament would be formed under his name. 

"The Board of Directors of the EOP issued a resolution on the death of Vasilios Topalos, taking into account the high and impeccable course of the brilliant athlete in Greece and in Europe and decided: A letter of condolence should be sent to his family. Lay a wreath in his memory," the organization said in a statement. "The funeral expenses of the deceased are to be covered by the Hellenic Boxing Federation. To establish a permanent, annual scholarship in his name and to offer it to a TEFAA student, to be chosen by the Hellenic Boxing Federation.

Police are investigating, taking statements from the people who were at the gym at the time, according to the Greek City Times. The owner of the gym has been summoned by investigators three times and recently gave a new statement. He was reportedly asked for the list and names of all the boxers who have been in the gym since the end beginning of December. 

It was reported that Topalos' death was caused by his fall on the floor of the gym. The medical examination revealed the official cause of death was a traumatic brain injury resulting in brain necrosis. "Gone is our Golden Child, our smiling Santa, the born Champion with a heart of pure gold," the Hellenic Boxing Federation added. "Unspeakable sadness for the Greek Boxing family... "Words cannot express what we feel, we are all devastated. Santa, you left us too soon. We will always remember you with love and nostalgia. Condolences to his family and loved ones. Let the soil that will cover you be light. You will forever be in our hearts."

"CONDOLENCES," England Boxing wrote on Twitter. "England Boxing is saddened to learn of the death of Greek Junior European Champion boxer Vassilis Topalos, pictured right on a visit to Belvedere Boxing Club, aged 16. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time."