Hadlow’s brain scan ‘blessing in disguise’
‘‘Apparently he didn’t want to tell me about the result of the scan because he felt like he’s letting me down but he’s wrong. ‘‘He definitely hasn’t let anyone down at all, I’m bloody proud of him for the way he’s dealt with the whole thing.’’ But Hadlo
Failing a pre-fight brain scan to fight on Joseph Parker’s undercard has been described as ‘‘a blessing in disguise’’ for a Kiwi boxer.
But a devastated Richie Hadlow, a former Commonwealth Games representative, is vowing to return to the ring so long as he can do it without taking a ‘‘silly’’ risk.
Hadlow, 30, was due to make his professional debut against fellow Kiwi Ricky Curline in a lightweight contest on the undercard of Parker’s bout with Alexander Flores in Christchurch next Saturday.
But a pre-fight MRI scan – made mandatory last month by Duco Events for their boxing shows – revealed a brain abnormality.
Duco’s move to make MRI brain scans compulsory came after the New Zealand Medical Association called for boxing to be banned following the death of Christchurch man Kain Parsons, who was knocked out at a charity event, last month.
Hadlow, a former four-time national amateur champion, has seen the MRI report but said he needs to seek further advice from a neurologist before having a full understanding of it.
‘‘I fully respect the decision and I value it but I guess the immature fighter in me wants to fight,’’ Hadlow told Stuff.
‘‘You’ve got to be responsible and smart about things, I’m not going to be silly about it but I’ll be doing everything I can in my powers to return.
‘‘Whatever is medically advised of me, I’ll follow.’’
Hadlow has been through some ‘‘dark days’’ since learning of the abnormality on Tuesday but is trying to see it as a positive.
Feeling normal made it harder to understand, he said.
‘‘I’m all good, I’m just not good enough to fight on that card.’’
Hadlow, who completed 24 rounds of sparring with two-weight national champion Bowyn Morgan between the scan and getting the result, has gone to extraordinary lengths to get himself in the best possible shape.
He has been splitting his time between his Queenstown base and Christchurch to train under Phil Shatford at Riverside Boxing Gym.
Shatford described the MRI result as ‘‘a blessing in disguise’’.
‘‘It was a big opportunity for him but he’s fit and healthy to live the rest of his life and that’s all I care about,’’ Shatford said.
But Hadlow is determined to keep an open mind on his future.
‘‘I understand what people mean by people saying it’s a blessing in disguise but when you’re a fighter and you’ve been in there doing the rounds . . . you just want to fight.’’
Shatford conceded he was devastated for Hadlow because he’s been training so hard and was looking extremely promising in the gym.