Tuesday 6 December 2016

'How could this be allowed to happen?' - Boxer Nick Blackwell in stable condition after sparring injury

Published 29/11/2016 | 08:58

Nick Blackwell
Nick Blackwell

Nick Blackwell is no longer sedated after being operated on to reduce swelling on his brain.

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Telegraph Sport understands the retired middleweight is stable but as he is yet to wake his condition is being monitored.

The 26-year-old suffered the injury last Tuesday in an ill-advised sparring session that took place despite him no longer having a licence to box.

He had retired after collapsing at the end of his defeat by Chris Eubank Jnr in March, when he was found to have suffered a bleed on the skull and put into an induced coma.

While Blackwell remains in hospital and will continue to be monitored by doctors, the British Boxing Board of Control's (BBBC) investigation into the circumstances surrounding his injury is also ongoing.

Their general secretary Robert Smith has spoken of their need to discover who oversaw the sparring session and who else was involved.

The incident happened without the knowledge of Blackwell's former trainer Gary Lockett, who had encouraged the fighter to get his trainer's licence if he wanted to remain in the sport.

Lockett said in a statement: "I can't believe the boxer he sparred with, and (the) coach or coaches involved, would ever allow Nick to spar when he's had a brain injury.

"In due course, I hope they are dealt with by the British Boxing Board of Control in the correct manner.

"We thought that was all going very well and while we knew Nick missed boxing, we obviously didn't realise the extent to which he missed it.

"I am deeply saddened by what has happened. Nick is not just an ex-boxer of mine, but also someone I consider to be a friend."

Promoter Frank Warren called for anyone involved in the session to have their licence revoked.

Speaking on BBC Radio Wales, Warren said: "How on earth can people have allowed this to happen?

"Anyone involved should have their licences taken away because they certainly didn't have Nick Blackwell's or boxing's best interests at heart.

"It's why you have a governing body - they're there to protect the boxers from themselves.

"Some of these guys want to box because they're fighters. They just think, 'Oh it doesn't matter I can get over that.'

"A lot of money was raised to help because he wasn't going to box anymore and he obviously received his purse from his last fight, so this is not about money, this is about someone wanting to fight.

"It's not like this is a few years on - it's eight months ago. This is madness, total madness."

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