He died after a Rough N’ Rowdy boxing match. His family says promoters are to blame

The wife of William Pederson, the amateur boxer who died from injuries sustained at a Rough N’ Rowdy Brawl tournament last year, is suing event promoters, claiming they are responsible for her husband’s death, according to a lawsuit filed this month.

Melissa Pederson brings the wrongful death, negligence and survivorship action suit against A.C.R. Promotions, Inc. and its president, Christopher M. Smith, Rough N’ Rowdy Brawl, and North American Boxing Federation.

William Pederson was injured in his second match during the tournament, held Feb. 4, 2017, at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, and was in a coma for weeks until dying Feb. 22, 2017. He was 34 years old.


The lawsuit said the “bout” was not stopped by the referee until well after Pederson had received “grievous and life-threatening injuries.” After the match, the suit said, Pederson was clearly staggering, unbalanced and disoriented, but was not examined well by a physician. Pederson, while still at the site of the match, began to suffer nausea and lost consciousness.

He died as a direct result of his injury and negligence of the event staff, the lawsuit said, adding if the referee had stopped the match and if the physician conducted a meaningful evaluation, Pederson would not have been as seriously injured.

The lawsuit goes on to say the event promoters negligently hired and supervised the referee from the second match and the ringside physician.

The month after Pederson’s death, Rough N’ Rowdy Brawl legal counsel said the event was safe despite the incident.

Along with his wife of 11 years, Pederson left behind two young children.

The Sun News has reached out to Christopher Smith for comment.

Hannah Strong: 843-444-1765, @HannahLStrong

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