BOXING: McClellan regaining consciousness

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The Independent Online
BOXING

Gerald McClellan was taken off a life support machine yesterday as he began to regain consciousness, 11 days after suffering brain injuries in a world title fight with Nigel Benn.

"He's doing quite well," John Sutcliffe, his neurosurgeon, said. "He's starting to wake up. He's breathing for himself. He's opening his eyes and starting to move."

The 27-year-old American fighter had a massive blood clot removed from his brain after collapsing following his 10th round knock-out in a World Boxing Council super-middleweight title fight on 25 February.

Sutcliffe said McClellan was no longer in critical condition. "He's one step removed from critical," he said. "He's stable, but he's still not out of danger. I'm not as worried about him as I was before."

Sutcliffe said that he was gradually reducing the level of sedation under which McClellan has been kept since the operation at the Royal London Hospital.

"He's not completely conscious. He's half and half at the moment," the surgeon said. "He's still under the effect of sedation. He's now coming out of it. He's opening his eyes from time to time and seems to be starting to be aware of people around him."

Sutcliffe said it remains too early to make a long-term prognosis for McClellan.

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