Story By: Alex Cope , Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Golders News & Sport Ltd.
This is the moment former boxing champion Mario Melo is helped by onlookers trying to clear his windpipe as he participates in the croissant-eating competition that claimed his life.
Mario Melo was an Argentinian and South American boxing champion and has died after participating in a croissant-eating competition in the city of Pinamar in the province of Buenos Aires in Argentina.
In the video, onlookers can be seen hitting Melo, 56, on his back and lifting him from behind to try and clear his airways on stage.
The former boxer participated in the competition to see who could eat the most croissants in a minute at a public event in the city.
A preliminary autopsy report found that Melo suffered a cardiac arrest caused by a lack of oxygen as his bronchi were blocked. The report found his windpipe had been blocked with food, according to local media.
Walter Ciancio, Director of the hospital Melo was rushed to, said: “We lifted him up and tried to resuscitate him but we couldn’t unblock it. There was no way of unblocking it and he then had to be transferred as he was no longer responding.”
Melo, reportedly a light heavyweight and heavyweight champion in Argentina and South America in the 1980s and 1990s, died shortly after participating in the eating competition.
Reports suggest police have confirmed the former boxer had diabetes and investigator Veronica Zamboni said they are waiting for the complete autopsy report before releasing a statement.
Melo admitted last year to having participated in a fixed fight against fellow Argentinian boxer Fabio Moli in 1997.
He retired with a record of 21-9-0 with 17 wins by knockout.
The authorities are still waiting for the results of the autopsy.