Fans have paid tribute to a boxer who died after his first professional fight.

Sherif Lawal lost consciousness and later died following his bout with Portuguese opponent Malam Varela at Harrow Leisure Centre on Sunday.

Pictures posted on Instagram showed the 29-year-old middleweight boxer, during what were his final preparations - and fans have now left tributes in the comments.

Images included him in training gear and working out with his coach, with one post captioned "last preparations done!".

The tributes started pouring in soon after the news of his death broke.

One fan said: "Rest in peace big man.

"Thinking of you and all your family."

Another wrote: "Rest in peace brother."

One fan praised his skill, saying: "An amazing boxer.

"Never forgotten."

Many fans simply said: "Rest easy champ."

Mr Lawal was struck on the temple during the match and lost consciousness.

The referee Lee Every began the count but then stopped, realising the severity of the fighter's condition.

Medics immediately attended to him in the ring before he was urgently taken to Northwick Park Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

A witness said: "It's unbelievably sad.

"This was his pro debut - he has died while chasing his dream.

"All care is taken to ensure the safety of fighters but in a sport like boxing these things occasionally happen.

"However, that doesn't make it any less devastating."

Costakis Evangelou, the promoter behind the Clash of the Titans event, said: "This was a tragic incident and my profound sympathies go out to Sherif’s family.

"It’s a difficult time for everyone involved in the boxing fraternity and we’re trying to absorb what’s happened.

"Sherif was a great boxer and man."

Mr Lawal, from Islington, had been boxing since 2018, turning professional earlier in the year.

At the time, his coach CJ Hussein, who also trained Tyson Fury's 2009 opponent John McDermott, said: "I think the pro game will suit Sherif down to a tee, he’s got all the talent to become a great middleweight.

"He’s a real inspiration to all the younger boxers at the gym."