Three-time, three-weight world title holder Jeff Fenech is fighting for long-term survival following a battle with pneumonia and a defective heart valve.
The 55 year-old was rushed to hospital in Bangkok after feeling unwell for a few days.
Fenech eventually coughed up blood, but wanted told to soldier on. Friends, led by Dominic Jarvis, decided to call an ambulance.
The Aussie great had to fight off the initial infection before undergoing surgery to fix the heart condition.
Doctors told Fenech a replacement valve will give him another ten years of life, at the very least, barring complications.
Jarvis spoke to 9News to explain the current situation on Sunday. “It’s shell-shocking news for everybody. He’s just in a lot of pain and dealing with a lot of emotions at the moment, every ten minutes something else transpires.
“He is in a lot of pain. I’ve never seen him like this. He hasn’t slept for at least six days. He can’t sleep and when he does go to nod off, he struggles to breathe, so he’s too scared to sleep.”
Boxing champ Jeff Fenech is steeling for the fight of his life in a Bangkok hospital, as he faces possible heart surgery. @AirlieWalsh @renaehenry9 #9News pic.twitter.com/7mIheqHynP
— 9News Australia (@9NewsAUS) October 7, 2019
On the initial call to the emergency services, Jarvis added: “Fortunately, the boys ignored the aggressive calls to leave him alone and called an ambulance.
“It’s a struggle for someone like Jeff, you think they’re invincible but in this case it really sends a shiver up your spine. He’s got a battle ahead of him.
“They were going to wait until the infection was well under control. Today it doesn’t matter. It’s scheduled for tomorrow (Monday).
“This is heart surgery. This is heart surgery for someone who already has a major infection. So we’re worried. But he’s in good hands.”
“The Marrickville Mauler’ initially fought between 1984 and 1996, winning a world bantamweight crown in just his seventh contest.
Fenech would go on to win belts at super-bantamweight and featherweight before losing out to Azumah Nelson twice for the 130 pound strap.
A draw and defeat to Nelson were avenged in 2008 when Fenech came out of retirement at 44 for a one-off bout in his homeland.
This new fight is the most important of Fenech’s life. WBN would like to wish him well.