Otorohanga boxer Daniel MacKinnon is now in a serious condition in Waikato Hospital following his light heavyweight title fight with Robert Berridge in Hamilton last night.
MacKinnon was taken to the hospital in critical condition shortly after the fight.
He had an emergency procedure on arrival and is now in a serious condition in the intensive care unit, manager Ken Reinsfield said.
MacKinnon lost the 10-round fight and suffered a swollen right eye.
Reinsfield said MacKinnon was rushed to hospital after he collapsed in his dressing room after his title fight with Robert Berridge in Hamilton last night.
After CT scans he was rushed into surgery and Reinsfield feared the worst.
"Brain surgery is brain surgery, you know? He may not have come out of that alive."
But less than 24 hours later, MacKinnon is awake and talking.
"He's unbelievable, he's a real fighter. He's so tough, he's got the heart of a lion," Reinsfield said.
Reinsfield said he'd received a message from MacKinnon on his phone earlier today, telling him he was okay. It was the best news he'd heard "all year".
MacKinnon sustained the injury in what Reinsfield is calling the "most brutal" fight in New Zealand that he can recall.
The fight was called off in round ten by the referee and Berridge won by technical knockout.
The towel was resting in Reinsfield's hands when the call was made. He was about to throw it in.
"It was a good stoppage. I think the ref did a good job, he was protecting the fighter. These are two guys that are warriors and no one would take a step back."
But head injury is something no one wants to see in boxing, not even the opponent, whose camp has been in contact to offer their best wishes for MacKinnon's speedy recovery.
Although this was an absolute fluke of an injury, it was a risk that all boxers took, Reinsfield said.
- © Fairfax NZ News