Brain-dam­aged teen boxer faces his tough­est fight

Cynon Valley - - NEWS - CIARAN JONES ciaran.jones@waleson­line.co.uk

A TEENAGE boxer who slumped to the ground three rounds into a bout was left brain-dam­aged and in a wheelchair.

Nathan Davies, 17, col­lapsed in the third round of the fight and was rushed straight to hospi­tal, where he spent two and a half weeks on life sup­port with a bleed on the brain.

The da­m­age done to his brain means Nathan, from Porth­cawl, has lost the use of his limbs and now needs a wheelchair.

Steel­worker dad Martin Davies called the ex­pe­ri­ence “worse than a night­mare” af­ter his son’s col­lapse.

He said: “No-one knows why he col­lapsed. He wasn’t badly hit, there’s no un­der­ly­ing health prob­lems, but some­thing must have trig­gered it.

“See­ing your son at­tached to all those ma­chines – it was a liv­ing night­mare.

“Then they showed us his brain scan and our world col­lapsed.

“He started get­ting move­ment in his left arm the other day so we take it one hur­dle at a time. And goals like that spur him and us on.”

The young­ster had taken to the ring for a bout meant to be step to­wards na­tional tri­als when tragedy struck.

But de­spite not re­ceiv­ing any heavy blows Nathan col­lapsed in the bout in June last year and was taken to the Univer­sity Hospi­tal of Wales in Cardiff.

His sup­port­ers have launched fundrais­ing projects to aid his re­cov­ery but say he faces a “tough bat­tle” fol­low­ing his life­sav­ing surgery.

For­mer WBU mid­dleweight cham­pion Gary Lock­ett is one of the teen’s high-pro­file sup­port­ers and has been help­ing to raise money.

Welsh­man Mr Lock­ett said: “Nathan made his ama­teur de­but aged 16. He had two com­pet­i­tive rounds.

“But when the ref broke him and his op­po­nent up in the third Nathan slumped and fell to the ground.

“It turned out he had a blood clot to the brain and he was taken to hospi­tal for an op­er­a­tion.

“He’s got a tough bat­tle ahead and he’s re­cov­er­ing very slowly. We don’t know how good his re­cov­ery will be.”

Mr Lock­ett was in the cor­ner of pro boxer Nick Black­well dur­ing a fight which saw him put into an in­duced coma fol­low­ing a bout with Chris Eubank Jr last year.

He said it was this ex­pe­ri­ence which prompted him to help Nathan and his fam­ily.

A Just­Giv­ing page set up by the ex-pro­fes­sional boxer aims to raise £40,000 for the teenager.

To do­nate to Nathan’s crowd­fund­ing page go to www.just­giv­ing.com/ crowd­fund­ing/gary-lock­ett.

WALES NEWS SER­VICE

Nathan Davies has been left in a wheelchair af­ter suf­fer­ing brain da­m­age in his first fight

Nathan be­fore the fight

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