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Nick Blackwell emerges from coma after sparring session

Nick Blackwell’s family says he’s smiling again after emerging from acoma this week.

Boxing at O2 Arena Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Former British champion Nick Blackwell has awoken from his coma this week following an ill-advised sparring session which had dangerous consequences. Blackwell is said to have regained consciousness after having a procedure to remove a portion of his skull to ease swelling on his brain following the sparring session.

"Nick is doing well considering the damage he has had," Daniel told Press Association Sport.

"He's looking around, moving his arms and legs, and is drinking, eating and smiling again. Rehab is going to take a long time, but he has done amazingly well so far."

This is good news considering the serious nature of his injuries. Blackwell had previously been placed in a medically induced coma following his fight with Chris Eubank Jr. where he suffered a brain bleed. He was never supposed to fight again, announced his retirement, but it seems he couldn’t resist his fighter’s instincts which led him back between the ropes for a sparring workout which ended disastrously.

The British Boxing Board of Control are now investigating the circumstances surrounding the sparring session with a formal hearing expected to be held next month. Hasan Karkardi and Liam Wilkins, the fighter and trainer who were involved with the sparring, have had their licenses suspended by the BBBoC.

And Chris Eubank Jr., who like everyone else in the boxing world who heard about Blackwell’s latest unfortunate incident, had this to say about Blackwell:

"It's just madness, absolute madness," Eubank said of the episode. "I understand how strong a love can be for the sport because I have that love inside me. But there is a difference between loving your sport and being able to spend time with your family and enjoy life.

"That is what he risked when he had that sparring session. It's a shame but hopefully he pulls through again, everything is fine, and he can learn from his mistake."

Eubank Jr. also mentions that he wasn’t allowed to visit Blackwell in person following the first incident, because Blackwell’s family took exception to his conduct in the post-fight press conference, but that he’d still like to see Blackwell and shake his hand.

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