A MISSISSIPPI boxer has beaten a three-year-old girl to death because he wanted to teach her 'this is a tough world', police say.

Joshua Salovich, 25, has been charged with murder after Bailey Salovich was taken to an emergency clinic with bruises and cuts to her body, and a wound to her head. She was helicoptered to a nearby specialist facility, but died during treatment.

The boxer-in-training reportedly admitted to investigators he had 'punished' the little girl for failing to correctly answer some math questions.

Salovich, who is being held without bail, faces the death penalty if convicted of capital murder.

He allegedly said he would question Bailey at least five times per week. If she got an answer wrong, he would 'pop' her.

"This was a tough world and she had to be tough if she wanted to survive," he reportedly said to police, who are uncertain if Bailey was his biological daughter.

Meridian Police Chief Benny Dubose told a court earlier this week Bailey was beaten to death after she refused to continue participating in the question-answer sessions.

Investigators say Salovich told them he used a bamboo rod to administer the beating until it broke. He then replaced it with a phone charger cord and his hand.

Detective Kevin Boyd told the court that Salovich was asked how hard he had hit Bailey on a scale of one to 10. "He rated them all 10s, with no hesitation."

"He said he would pop her with his hands on her butt and legs when she got a wrong answer ... (he said he) backhanded her several times in the stomach because she kept getting it wrong," The Meridian Star reports.

Salovich became upset when he was informed Bailey had died. "I killed my child. I killed my child," the newspaper reports.

Police say they are questioning the mother, who has a different surname, to determine how much she knew about the beatings.

News Corp Australia


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