Punch 4 Punch: the internet craze blamed for father's death

Jul 2, 2014

Londoner Tommy Main died after being hit in the chest by a friend as they played 'game' at a party

DjClarksta/ Youtube

A young father has died after playing a new internet "game" in which people are filmed punching each other. Tommy Main, 23, collapsed during a party at his home in London after being hit in the chest by a friend as they played 'Punch 4 Punch'. 

What is Punch 4 Punch?

Two contestants take it in turns to punch each other in the same spot as hard as they can until one of them gives up. Sometimes, contestants tie one hand behind their back, while others drink alcohol as a forfeit. Often the footage is posted online. Usually it is the arm or shoulder that is punched, but sometimes it is the stomach, chest or even the head. It follows the Neknominate drinking craze that was linked to a number of deaths after it swept the internet earlier this year.

Where did Punch 4 Punch originate?

The game appears to have first become popular in the US. It is also known as Hit 4 Hit, Blow for Blow and Trading Punches, but is not to be confused with the Knockout Game, in which perpetrators punch innocent, unsuspecting victims on the street for no reason.

What happened to Tommy Main?

The father-of-one was rushed to hospital on the weekend in a critical condition after being punched in the chest and was pronounced dead a short while later. A police source told the Evening Standard that Main was not the victim of an "unprovoked violent attack" but had simply been "fooling around" with someone he knew. Detectives are treating the death as "unexplained", with a post mortem examination expected to take up to six weeks. A 20-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of his murder and has been bailed until September. Main's older brother Roy has berated "so-called friends" for filming the incident on their mobile phones instead of stepping in to prevent it.

Why is punching so dangerous?

While punches to the arm are likely to cause only bruising, repeated blows to the chest can potentially cause blunt force trauma and internal bleeding. A blow to the head can also cause concussion, brain damage and death. Police in the UK have previously run One Punch Can Kill campaigns to publicise the dangers of fighting.

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