Mario Melo, a former professional boxer who lost his 1990 shot at wining the WBO light heavyweight title, died on Sunday in a croissant-eating contest.
The 56-year-old Melo was one of several participants competing in the event in Buenos Aires. He was into his third croissant when he started to choke. Several men rushed to his aid and performed the Heimlich maneuver, but couldn't dislodge the blockage. He was whisked away in an ambulance but was dead on arrival. A spectator captured the dramatic scene on video.
According to reports, there did not appear to be any trained medical professionals hired for the event. Melo had a professional record of 21-and-9. He challenged light heavyweight champion Michael Moorer in 1990, but lost in the first round.