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Years After Suffering Head Injuries That Landed Them in a Coma, Boxing Legends Linking Up Together to Inspire the World Is Something You Wouldn’t Want to Miss

Published 10/03/2023, 3:33 AM EDT

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Boxing fans came across a short clip of former boxers Nick Blackwell and Michael Watson taking a walk. The message mentioned that the duo, who suffered near-fatal injuries after boxing matches, got together last week. Soon, a stream of likes and comments hailing the legends came up. A true fighter is not one who never falls but one who falls and shows the heart to get up and start again. And fans couldn’t have come across a better example.

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In an earlier message, Nick Blackwell tweeted that they were told they won’t be able to walk again. Despite slim chances of surviving the ordeal, he and Michael Watson defied expert opinions and could now walk shoulder to shoulder.

‘The Force’ of Michael Watson


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Michael Watson successfully retained his Commonwealth Middleweight title in January 1991. However, his campaign to secure a world title first hit a roadblock two months later when he faced Chris Eubank. He lost the match by a majority decision. But five months later, the duo returned to fight for the WBO Super Middleweight title. In round 12, a brutal uppercut from Eubank had Watson fall back on the ropes. The referee stopped the fight, and Eubank won via technical knockout.

Michael Watson, in the meantime, had collapsed. But unfortunately, there were no medical professionals to offer any help. So, it was almost eight minutes before he received any medical attention. Taken to the hospital, the doctors induced a coma that lasted six months. Watson underwent six operations to remove a life-threatening blood clot. As a result, he couldn’t speak or write and became immobile.


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Watson’s recovery was slow. In the six years that followed, he had to use a wheelchair. But thankfully, he recovered skills such as speech and writing. Because of the severity of his injuries and the absence of medical care on time, he filed a lawsuit against the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC). The High Court eventually ruled in his favor, and Watson was awarded damages said to be in the neighborhood of £1 million.

Speaking to SunSport, Michael Watson said, “My life is full, and the British public have been wonderful to me. I can’t have regrets. As I said recently, we have to move on, and I don’t bear any ill will toward Chris. He apologized to me, but he didn’t have to do that. What I am pleased about is that what happened to me that night made everybody take stock and realize that boxing had to be made safer….

Nick Blackwell came back with a bang

Nick Blackwell, on the other hand, was the British Middleweight champion. He met Chris Eubank Jr. during his third title defense in 2016. The latter controlled the fight early, leaving Blackwell with a swelling above his left eye and a bloody nose. Finally, based on the ringside doctor’s assessment of Blackwell in the tenth round, the match stopped, with Eubank Jr. declared the winner. A few minutes afterward, Blackwell had to be administered oxygen and sent to St. Mary’s hospital.


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He suffered from extracranial bleeding and was put in an induced coma but not operated on. His coma was broken the following weekend. But in November 2016, his second hospitalization came after he collapsed following a sparring session. This time, he had to undergo surgery.

The sight of Nick Blackwell and Michael Watson walking side-by-side hit it off with so many fans. Despite the life-threatening injuries, the two warriors defied all odds to recover. Michael Watson has become an outspoken advocate for disabled athletes ever since. On the other hand, Nick Blackwell tweeted in April 2016 that he was retiring from boxing. However, he still wanted to remain engaged with the sport. Blackwell became a certified boxing trainer in October 2016.


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Which is your favorite boxing story that inspires you the most? Please share with us in the comments below.

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Written by:

Jaideep R Unnithan


One take at a time

Jaideep Unnithan is a Boxing writer at EssentiallySports. With over 400 articles authored at ES, Jaideep has built a reputation for diving deep into stories and producing detailed reports. Jaideep's passion for the sport of boxing was ignited when his father shared his experience of watching Ali vs Frazier live in the US.
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Edited by:

Snigdhaa Jaiswal