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Dwight Richie’s sparring partner tells of moment boxer died

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The final sparring partner of a Melbourne boxer who died during a training session has told 7NEWS his death was a freak accident.

The sport is reeling after the shock passing of Dwight Richie and there are now calls for it to be banned.

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Champion boxer Michael Zerafa was the father of three’s last opponent – the man who was training with Richie at a Keilor East gym on Sunday afternoon,

Australian boxer Dwight Ritchie.

“He rocked up, fit as ever, we were both in preparation for our fights,” Zerafa said.

But halfway through the sixth round of sparring, the Richie suddenly stopped.

“He just took a few backward steps and just held his chest and just collapsed,” Zerafa said. “Everyone ran into the ring but unfortunately it wasn’t enough.”

While paramedics tried to save him he was pronounced dead in the boxing ring.


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‘He just took a few backward steps and just held his chest and just collapsed’

Zerafa said the final punch hit Richie in his left side but was “nothing out of the ordinary”.

“No shots landed that were really different. Just something happened,” he said.

Richie overcame cancer twice and had said his difficult childhood would have led to jail if it wasn’t for boxing.

“There’s not a bad word you could say about Dwight,” Zerafa said. “He was a gentleman.”

Dwight Ritchie fought Tim Tszyu in August and was due to return to the ring in December.

While it’s understood full medical checks did not indicate Richie had any serious health issues, the AMA has called for the sport to be banned.

Zerafa, however, believes it was a freak accident.

More on 7NEWS.com.au

His thoughts are with the former Australasian champion’s girlfriend and three children.

“He went out on a high and it’s a very sad moment for the boxing industry,” he said.

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Lady Colin Campbell claims soliciting sex from minors ‘is not the same as paedophilia’

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Lady Colin Campbell has caused outrage after claiming soliciting sex from minors ‘is not the same as paedophilia’.

The socialite, 70, made the comments on Good Morning Britain while discussing Prince Andrew and his friendship with the paedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.

She faced a backlash from presenter Piers Morgan after she said there was a difference between hiring sex from a minor and paedophilia.

The socialite, 70, made the comments on Good Morning Britain (pictured) while discussing Prince Andrew and his friendship with the paedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein

The former TV personality defended the Duke of York – who is recovering from a ‘car crash’ interview aired on Saturday night – and his friendship with the late financier Epstein, a 66-year-old convicted sex offender who died in custody in New York in August.

The former TV personality defended the Duke of York

The former TV personality defended the Duke of York

The former TV personality defended the Duke of York

Lady Colin Campbell said on the show today: ‘You all seem to have forgotten that Jeffrey Epstein, the offence for which he was charged and for which he was imprisoned, was for soliciting prostitution from minors.

‘That is not the same thing as paedophilia.’

She said it was ‘prostitution’ when Morgan asked what she would call it.

But the 54-year-old journalist said:’If you solicited a 14-year-old for prostitution, you’re a paedophile.’

Lady Campbell said: ‘It doesn’t matter.’

A shocked Morgan hit back: ‘It does matter. You’re procuring an underage girl for sex.’

He added: ‘That’s what he was convicted of! I’m sorry, I’m sorry, with respect, that is nonsense.’

Lady Campbell replied: ‘Was he? 14? Well, I’m not justifying Jeffrey Epstein.’

‘Paedophilia, I suspect there’s a difference between a minor and a child.’ 

She faced a backlash from presenter Piers Morgan (pictured with Susanna Reid on the show today) after she said there was a difference between hiring sex from a minor and paedophilia

She faced a backlash from presenter Piers Morgan (pictured with Susanna Reid on the show today) after she said there was a difference between hiring sex from a minor and paedophilia

She faced a backlash from presenter Piers Morgan (pictured with Susanna Reid on the show today) after she said there was a difference between hiring sex from a minor and paedophilia

She claimed a minor was not a child, but the law states they are both someone under the age of 18.

Prince Andrew twice stated his relationship with Epstein had provided ‘seriously beneficial outcomes’, giving him the opportunity to prepare for a future role as a trade envoy.

He cast doubt on the authenticity of a picture that appears to show the Prince with his arm around the waist of Virginia Roberts, when she was a teenager. 

Prince Andrew told friends he 'regretted' not expressing sympathy for Jeffrey Epstein’s victims in his disastrous TV interview

Prince Andrew told friends he 'regretted' not expressing sympathy for Jeffrey Epstein’s victims in his disastrous TV interview

Prince Andrew told friends he ‘regretted’ not expressing sympathy for Jeffrey Epstein’s victims in his disastrous TV interview

He expressed regret at making contact with Epstein in 2010 – flying to New York to say in person the friendship was over – after the paedophile had been released from an 18-month prison term for prostituting minors.

But Lady Colin seemed to defend his decision.

She said ‘civilised’ people would always dump a friend in person, adding: ‘He’s made many mistakes. The fact of the matter is you cannot criticise someone because they aren’t as bright as you would like them to be.’

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Van carrying 52 migrants smashes through border crossing in Spanish enclave in Morocco 

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Police have arrested a van driver who smashed through a busy border checkpoint between Morocco and Spain with 52 African migrants including a five-month-old baby on board.

Four people needed hospital treatment after the Moroccan, said to be a French resident, smashed through a checkpoint at high speed and crossed into Spain’s northern African enclave of Ceuta.

Heavy metal gates were crashed through during the incident took just before 3am this morning, it was not clear whether it had broken through other fences on the Moroccan side.

The 34 men, 16 women and two children packed in the back of the van were all sub-Saharan Africans.

A damaged van that carried 52 migrants stands after breaking through a barrier at Tarajal broder crossing in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta, November 18

A damaged van that carried 52 migrants stands after breaking through a barrier at Tarajal broder crossing in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta, November 18

A damaged van that carried 52 migrants stands after breaking through a barrier at Tarajal broder crossing in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta, November 18

They were picked up by police after fleeing the vehicle once it had reached Spain, with many running towards Almadraba Beach before taking shelter from the rain on the roof-covered terrace of a coffee shop near the seafront.

A local police officer who asked not to be named, said: ‘It’s a miracle this hasn’t ended up with a massive death toll.

‘It’s absolute madness to pack 52 people into a van this size and then drive at full speed and smash through heavy metal barriers. Their lives were definitely put at risk.’ 

A five-month-old baby and a six-year-old child were on board the small van along with their mothers – they were not among the four people who needed hospital treatment for minor injuries.

A crane removes the van that managed to enter in Spain with 52 migrants on board, after rushing at Tarajal border crossing, in Ceuta, Spanish enclave in northern Africa, 18 November 2019

A crane removes the van that managed to enter in Spain with 52 migrants on board, after rushing at Tarajal border crossing, in Ceuta, Spanish enclave in northern Africa, 18 November 2019

A crane removes the van that managed to enter in Spain with 52 migrants on board, after rushing at Tarajal border crossing, in Ceuta, Spanish enclave in northern Africa, 18 November 2019

Police union Jupol, commenting on the drama when it was initially believed 57 people had been in the back of the van, said: ‘A van packed with 57 migrants has entered Ceuta by force, smashing through a frontier border gate with violence and managing to cross into Spanish soil.

‘We send our support to our colleagues there.’

Spanish private news agency Europa Press, citing Red Cross officials, said the van sped across the border before dawn, breaking through at least one metal gate. 

The tactic of getting migrants across the busy El Tarajal checkpoint between Morocco and Spain by driving at high speed through the border gates was first employed six years ago.

Pictured: Spain's North African enclave of Ceuta. The 52 migrants were picked up by police after fleeing the vehicle once it had reached Spain, with many running towards Almadraba Beach

Pictured: Spain's North African enclave of Ceuta. The 52 migrants were picked up by police after fleeing the vehicle once it had reached Spain, with many running towards Almadraba Beach

Pictured: Spain’s North African enclave of Ceuta. The 52 migrants were picked up by police after fleeing the vehicle once it had reached Spain, with many running towards Almadraba Beach

But police say no-one has ever resorted to the dangerous strategy to try to get so many people across the border at the same time.

Most of those picked up this morning are thought to be from Guinea, a country in west Africa.

They have now been taken to a local refugee holding centre.

In May 2015 an eight-year-old boy was found curled up inside a ball inside a suitcase on the same checkpoint after police stopped a Moroccan teenager paid to take him across the border.

The youngster, who was called Adou Ouattara and came from Ivory Coast, later became the subject of a book written by a journalist who detailed his family’s desperate attempts to be reunited in Europe.

The 52 migrants were picked up by police after fleeing the vehicle once it had reached Spain, with many running towards Almadraba Beach

The 52 migrants were picked up by police after fleeing the vehicle once it had reached Spain, with many running towards Almadraba Beach

The 52 migrants were picked up by police after fleeing the vehicle once it had reached Spain, with many running towards Almadraba Beach

A month later police opened up the bonnet of a battered car at the El Tarajal border to find a migrant from Guinea squashed up width-ways with his upper body by the hot engine and his legs near the windscreen washer.

Ceuta and Spain’s other north African enclave Melilla have been the scene of several mass crossings by African migrants who have clambered over the border fence separating Morocco from European soil.

In February 2017 hundreds of bloodied and emotional Africans were filmed shouting ‘Viva España’, ‘We Love You España’ and ‘Boza, boza’ which means ‘Victory, victory’ as they beat their chests in a show of joy at making it to Europe.

Many were bare chested and barefoot and others were bleeding from deep cuts they had suffered after managing to reach Ceuta.

Local authorities said at the time they believed around 900 immigrants had attempted to storm the fence – and more than 400 had managed to cross it.

Ceuta and Melilla, another Spanish territory on Morocco's northern border, have the EU's only land borders with Africa. Here migrants celebrate after crossing the border in February 2017

Ceuta and Melilla, another Spanish territory on Morocco's northern border, have the EU's only land borders with Africa. Here migrants celebrate after crossing the border in February 2017

Ceuta and Melilla, another Spanish territory on Morocco’s northern border, have the EU’s only land borders with Africa. Here migrants celebrate after crossing the border in February 2017

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Yousef Makki killer, 18, asks for day release from jail

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The family of a 17-year-old public schoolboy were ‘appalled’ today after a teenager controversially cleared of murdering him applied for day release from prison.

Joshua Molnar, 18, was cleared of the murder and manslaughter of Yousef Makki after arguing that he stabbed his friend in self-defence in Hale Barns, Cheshire.

But Molnar was sentenced to a 16-month detention training order for perverting the course of justice and possession of a knife following the stabbing on March 2. 

The teenager who stabbed Yousef Makki to death can today be named as Joshua Molnar

The teenager who stabbed Yousef Makki to death can today be named as Joshua Molnar

Yousef Ghaleb Makki was knifed to death in Hale Barns on March 2

Yousef Ghaleb Makki was knifed to death in Hale Barns on March 2

Joshua Molnar (left), 18, was cleared of murdering public schoolboy Yousef Makki (right), 17

Now, Yousef’s sister Jade Akoume, 28, has revealed a family liaison officer visited her on Friday to say Molnar had applied for a day release at the end of this month.

The mother-of-three told Mirror Online: ‘We are appalled. It appears the application has been made so he can spend the day with his family.

‘But it’s only months after he’s been sentenced. Yousef will never ever have the chance to spend time with his family again.

‘It’s another real kick in the teeth as we will never have the chance to have another day with Yousef and they are fully aware of that.’  

Molnar with his mother Stephanie, 51, who co-founded a chain of private children's nurseries

Molnar with his mother Stephanie, 51, who co-founded a chain of private children's nurseries

Molnar with his mother Stephanie, 51, who co-founded a chain of private children’s nurseries

Last month, the family of privately educated Molnar were branded ‘shameless’ by the victim’s family for launching a ‘PR offensive’.

They hired a leading publicity firm and gave an interview to The Sunday Times, describing him as ‘a normal, typical teenage lad’ and a ‘fabulously creative chef’.

They said their son was ‘incredibly remorseful’ about the ‘tragedy’ – but then praised his talents and character, and tried to contradict evidence presented in court. 

Molnar is the son of Mark Molnar, 56, a business consultant and former chairman of Cheshire Lawn Tennis Association, and Stephanie Molnar, 51, who co-founded a chain of private children’s nurseries.

Molnar was cleared of murder, prompting outrage from Yousef's family

Molnar was cleared of murder, prompting outrage from Yousef's family

An ardent rugby player, Molnar regularly appeared for his school teams

An ardent rugby player, Molnar regularly appeared for his school teams

Molnar (above) was cleared of murder but sentenced to a 16-month detention training order – 12 months for perverting the course of justice, and four months for possession of the knife

Mr Molnar is honorary secretary of Cheshire LTA, while his wife has stood down from her business, the Elmscot Group, which built up a portfolio of 14 nurseries employing 225 staff to look after 1,700 children in the North West.

Joshua, who was sent to a several prestigious schools, grew up in the family’s £1million home in Hale, Cheshire – but more recently split his time between his parents’ homes after they separated.

The Molnars are being represented by Manchester PR agency MC2 Communications, which would normally cost thousands of pounds. Its past clients include Cadbury’s owner Mondelez.

But they were accused of going on a ‘PR offensive’ by relatives of Yousef, a scholarship pupil at the £13,000-a-year Manchester Grammar School who was being prepared for Oxbridge.

Yousef had won a scholarship to the prestigious £12,000-a-year Manchester Grammar School

Yousef had won a scholarship to the prestigious £12,000-a-year Manchester Grammar School

Yousef's father Ghaleb Makki outside court

Yousef's father Ghaleb Makki outside court

Yousef Makki (left) had won a scholarship to the £12,000-a-year Manchester Grammar School. His grieving father Ghaleb Makki is pictured (right) outside Manchester Crown Court in July

Yousef’s mother Debbie Makki, 54, said: ‘Who do the Molnars think they are having a publicist? They’re hardly Posh and Becks. 

‘They are shameless. They have shown no remorse to us during or since the trial. We’ve never heard anything from them. 

‘Surely, as human beings they should sympathise with us losing such a huge part of our lives. Instead, they seem to be more worried about tainting their reputations.’ 

Mrs Makki and daughter Jade Akoum, 28, said they would be ‘exploring all avenues to ensure justice for Yousef’. They added: ‘We have never seen a shred of true remorse.’

Molnar's mother Stephanie (above, together) has said the 'events of that night were a tragedy'

Molnar's mother Stephanie (above, together) has said the 'events of that night were a tragedy'

Molnar’s mother Stephanie (above, together) has said the ‘events of that night were a tragedy’

Mrs Akoum said: ‘They can have all the money in the world and use a PR company but they can’t change the fact their son killed Yousef and was troubled.’ 

She described Joshua as the ‘scum of the earth’. The Makki family, from Burnage, Manchester, are considering a private claim in the civil courts. 

Yousef suffered a 5.5-inch wound through the heart after being stabbed with an illegal flick knife during the confrontation on March 2 this year in Hale Barns, a Cheshire village popular with company directors and footballers.

The trial of Molnar and another 17-year-old youth, known as Boy B, heard that they and Yousef were friends but had fallen out over a botched attempt to rob a drug dealer. 

The Molnars have told how their son (pictured with his mother) had 'normal friendship groups'

The Molnars have told how their son (pictured with his mother) had 'normal friendship groups'

The Molnars have told how their son (pictured with his mother) had ‘normal friendship groups’ 

Molnar was allegedly furious after he was beaten up and his £2,000 carbon-fibre mountain bike – a gift from his father – was thrown over a hedge.

Joshua Molnar arriving at Manchester Crown Court during his trial earlier this year

Joshua Molnar arriving at Manchester Crown Court during his trial earlier this year

Joshua Molnar arriving at Manchester Crown Court during his trial earlier this year

The knife used by Molnar was bought online by Boy B. During the trial at Manchester Crown Court in the summer, Molnar claimed the stabbing happened after Yousef pulled a knife on him. 

The prosecution said there was no evidence Yousef had a knife.

Molnar was also cleared of conspiracy to rob, but was given a 16-month detention order after admitting possessing an offensive weapon and perverting the course of justice by lying to police.

Boy B was cleared of conspiracy to rob and perverting the course of justice, but admitted possessing an offensive weapon and was locked up for four months.

The Molnars have told how their son had ‘normal friendship groups’ from school and his home town, and was a talented rugby union player.

In a statement, Mrs Molnar said: ‘The events of that night were a tragedy. I cannot imagine what Yousef’s parents and family must be going through. 

‘[He] fully accepts responsibility for Yousef’s death in the act of self-defence. He will have to live with the responsibility for the rest of his life.’

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