Mother's tribute to Ripley teen boxer Eddie Bilbey

Eddie Bilbey with two brothers Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Eddie Bilbey was described as being "like a dad" to his younger brothers

The mother of a 17-year-old boy, who died after an amateur boxing match, has paid tribute to her "very best friend".

Eddie Bilbey, from Ripley in Derbyshire, died shortly after the bout in South Normanton on 24 March.

His mother, Michelle Bilbey, described her son as "a beautiful, caring, honest, respectful and truly pure soul".

A post-mortem examination has taken place but the cause of death will not be made public until May.

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'Passion for boxing'

"He was my confidante, my rock, my very best friend and my shopping partner," Mrs Bilbey said.

"Boxing held the discipline and training ethics that he so enjoyed and I know people who don't understand the sport will slate it, but to us that knew him best, boxing did define him - it made him who he was.

"He lived and breathed boxing; it was his life, his passion. It may be that that's where his life ended on Friday night but knowing Eddie as I do, he wouldn't have wanted it any other way."

England Boxing, which sanctioned the East Midlands Youth Welterweight bout, is investigating the death.

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