ST. LOUIS — An unscheduled fight broke out Saturday when several people jumped into a boxing ring at the Casa Loma Ballroom and assaulted one of the professional boxers in the middle of a match, witnesses said.
"It was just out of hand," said Jay Kanzler, a St. Louis lawyer who was judging the matches on Saturday. "There was no security … the spectators came in and beat and kicked (a boxer) for what seemed like 30 to 60 seconds."
It was unclear if anyone was seriously hurt.
The melee began after one boxer hit another in the back of the head during the match, according to a ring-side video of the incident. A man immediately jumped into the ring and attacked the boxer who had punched the other boxer. At that point, several more people rushed onto the ring, punching and kicking the boxer.
Typically, when a boxer hits another in the back of the head, they'd simply lose a point, Kanzler said.
Boxer Larnell Clark, who was attacked by the crowd, ended up being disqualified because he punched boxer Donte Turner in the back of the head after the bell rang, according to a spokesperson for the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance. The match was declared a victory for Turner.
Casa Loma Ballroom has hosted about 20 boxing nights, ballroom owner Pat Brannon said. On Saturday night, he had leased out the ballroom to a promoter for the event. Brannon said there wasn't enough security at the event.
“Everybody got broken up — it was two separate families, and they were all told to leave, which they did,” Brannon said. “Within five minutes we had everything under control.”
Even so, Brannon said, “I’m very disappointed with the promoter.”
The event's promoter, Steve Walker, said he'd had four security workers at the event. When asked how many he typically staffs, he said the state of Missouri has no minimum requirement for security personnel.
“Four wasn’t enough,” Walker said. “… Once we kicked out those eight or 10 people, it was fine, the show went on.”
Walker said the bout was the fourth of 10 on the program that night.
Witnesses said police officers arrived after the brawl was over, but it's unclear if they took a report.