British boxer Nick Blackwell has regained consciousness from a coma brought about by life-threatening brain injuries, per BBC Sport.
The former British middleweight champion retired from the sport and needed surgery after his clash with Chris Eubank Jr. in March. However, he took part in an unsanctioned sparring session in November, after which he was placed in an induced coma.
During the sparring session, Blackwell suffered more trauma to his brain, leaving doctors with no choice but to remove part of his skull.
However, this week, Blackwell woke up from his coma and is continuing his recovery in hospital.
His recovery was far from assured when he entered his most recent coma, however, as doctors were sceptical as to whether Blackwell would return to his former self again.
According to Martin Domin of Daily Mirror, the 26-year-old’s family were informed that he may be paralysed from the procedure, if indeed he woke up at all.
But on Thursday evening, Blackwell’s friends and family got the good news they had been waiting for.
Friend Chantelle Spong expressed her relief 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 now that his breathing ventilator has been taken out completely! He looks just like himself again and is very smiley."
Despite retirement, Blackwell has decided to stay in the sport and picked up his trainer’s licence shortly before his sparring session.
So even though he may never set foot in the ring again as a fighter, it’s nothing but good news for British boxing that Blackwell is recovering and on the road to being able to impart wisdom to other young fighters.