Boxer Nick Blackwell may be brought out of a medically induced coma today, it has been reported.
The 25-year-old was defeated in the tenth round of his title bout with Chris Eubank Jr. on Saturday night, and after a bleed on his brain was identified the fighter was placed in the coma and observed over the weekend.
According to The Guardian, a spokesman for Blackwell’s family said he may be brought round soon.
The spokesman told the BBC Blackwell was heavily sedated but ‘not deteriorating’.
Thank you to everyone for your kind words, however our primary concern remains with the recovery of @nickblackwell02 & his return to health.
— Christopher Eubank (@ChrisEubank) March 29, 2016
The incident has raised serious questions regarding why the fight was not halted sooner.
Leading neurosurgeon Peter Hamlyn operated on Michael Watson after he was left in a 40-day coma having fought Chris Eubank Sr. in 1991, and has stated the fight shouldn’t have gone past the seventh round.
Watson was left disabled but did survive having a blood clot removed from his brain.
Hamlyn told The Guardian:
He was being badly beaten from the get-go. He didn’t land more than two neuro-physically significant punches on Eubank, but received dozens and dozens in return. In the seventh round it would have been entirely legitimate to stop it.
— Lennox Lewis (@LennoxLewis) March 27, 2016
Eubank Sr. drew praise for advising his son to stop throwing for Blackwell’s head as he could ‘hurt’ his opponent, when the referee was showing no sign of stopping the fight before a decision.
Chris Eubank Sr may well have saved Nick Blackwell's life last night. Class act… pic.twitter.com/EHrus0MOHU
— BreatheSport (@BreatheSport) March 27, 2016
Referee Victor Loughlin was defended by general secretary of British Board of Boxing Control (BBoC), Robert Smith, who said he’d done ‘nothing wrong’ in the wake of Blackwell’s hospitalisation.
There has been an outpouring of support for Blackwell on Twitter from the likes of boxing legends such as Lennox Lewis, and we continue to wish the boxer and his family all the best as he fights to recover.