Former British middleweight champion Nick Blackwell is out of a coma for a second time following surgery to remove part of his skull.
The 26 year-old, who spent weeks in hospital earlier this year in a similar condition, was rushed to hospital in November after a sparring session.
Blackwell was told by doctors he could no longer take a blow to the head, although the Trowbridge man couldn’t resist his urge to trade blows.
Now, following another four week spell, Blackwell’s father and brother’s girlfriend Chantelle Spong have revealed details of the ex-fighters condition.
“We’ve been hoping he would get to this stage but didn’t think it would be for another few months yet,” Blackwell’s father, John, told the Wiltshire Times.
“There’s still a long road ahead, though, and he’ll need another operation sometime next year to replace the part of his skull which is missing, but we’re just so happy to see him smiling again.”
Spong wrote on Facebook: “A few days ago we had the Christmas miracle we’ve been wanting so badly to happen…We walked into the hospital expecting to see Nick staring blankly at us, but instead he was watching telly and really trying to get words out to talk to people.”We don’t know what was going through Nick’s mind at the time but we do know boxing was Nick’s life and
“We don’t know what was going through Nick’s mind at the time but we do know boxing was Nick’s life and full time job for 10 years, it was all he ever knew and it got ripped away from him.
“If Nick thought for one second that he didn’t feel 100% we know in our hearts he would have never stepped foot in that ring to spar.
“His family and friends are his world and we know he never wanted us to go through this again, but he genuinely thought he was at full health.”
“Merry Christmas to the Blackwell family who have been truly amazing these past few weeks. I couldn’t think of a family more deserving to be happy than you lot.”
A trainer and fellow-boxer have since been suspended by the British Board for their part in the sparring session.