Referee Villers stable after collapse

Updated: December 20, 2009, 3:06 AM ET
Associated Press

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- Boxing referee Jimmy Villers was in stable condition after collapsing on his way to the locker room Saturday night following a bout on the undercard of Kelly Pavlik's middleweight title defense against Miguel Espino.

The 56-year-old Villers had just worked Miguel Angel Garcia's featherweight victory against Yogli Herrera at the Beeghly Center on the campus of Youngstown State University when he grabbed his chest and collapsed with what appeared to be a heart attack.

Medical personnel used a defibrillator and strapped oxygen to his face, and Villers was awake and alert when he was placed on a stretcher. Villers was talking as he was taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center.

A cardiologist sitting near the ring helped take care of Villers, a former boxer and the brother-in-law of Pavlik's trainer, Jack Loew.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press