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Robb Jeffries, Forum News Service, Published March 17 2013

Boxing club resumes bouts 1 month after man died

EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn. – A month after a Grand Forks amateur boxer collapsed in the ring, and later died, the fights have returned to the American Legion club here.

It was mostly business as usual Saturday afternoon for the Forx Fighters, the Grand Forks boxing club that Jeremiah “J.J.” Moen had fought for. The club had shut down for a week after Moen’s death.

Before the 11 scheduled bouts began, Forx Fighters coach Eddie Obregon unveiled a plaque bearing Moen’s photo, paid for by the families of fellow boxers.

“He was a great person, and he had his life together,” Obregon told the crowd. “He was going to get married in the spring. But there was nothing anybody could do, and so we just remember him.”

Reid Nelson, one of 22 boxers from North Dakota, Minnesota and Manitoba fighting Saturday, said Moen’s death weighed on him.

“I thought about it a lot going into the match,” said Nelson, 15. “I went out there and tried to win for him.”

Nelson, who is with Forx Fighters, won his bout against Denver Peterson of Red River Golden Gloves club in Fargo.

Moen, 29, finished the first round of his match Feb. 16 without taking any heavy blows. But he looked dazed going back into his corner, and the two corner men, experienced boxers themselves, noticed.

“One of the corner men asked him, ‘Are you OK?’ He said, ‘I’m done,’ and kind of smiled. Then his face lost all expression,” Obregon said last month.

Moen experienced a seizure and lost consciousness. He died at Altru Hospital on

Feb. 20.

His death was the first amateur boxing death in Minnesota since 1994, when Donnell Lindsay collapsed in the third round of a bout and never regained consciousness.