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Wednesday, 6 May, 1998, 16:17 GMT 17:17 UK
Boxing champ 'out of danger'
Oliver received treatment in the ring before being taken to hospital
The young British boxer, Spencer Oliver, who suffered life-threatening injuries in the ring, has left intensive care and is on his way to a full recovery, his doctors have said.

Oliver is talking to his family and hospital staff, and is expected to be able to walk again within days.

The 22-year-old super-bantamweight underwent a three-hour operation at London's National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery to remove a blood clot from his brain after he was hurt in a European championship fight on Saturday.

Spencer was expected to retain his title
Reading a statement agreed by the boxer's family and his neurosurgeon, a spokesman for the University College London Hospital said: "Spencer Oliver is making steady progress and is no longer in the intensive care unit.

"He is lucid and is becoming aware of his injuries.

"He will remain at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery over the next few days, where it is expected he will start to walk and regain full mobility."

Oliver's friends and relatives comfort each other after the fight
Oliver was knocked out in the 10th round of his European super-bantamweight title fight with Ukrainian Sergei Devakov at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

He was given oxygen by paramedics in the ring and after 15 minutes of treatment was taken to Charing Cross Hospital, apparently unconscious and wearing a neck brace. Later he was moved to a neurological unit of a specialist hospital but remained unconscious for two days.

The incident triggered renewed calls, led by the British Medical Association, for boxing to be outlawed.

BBC News
The BBC's boxing commentator John Rawling says Oliver is a "shining light" in the sport (0'54")
BBC News
Sports minister Tony Banks: "One has to accept there are elements of danger in this sport" (3'30")
See also:

04 May 98 | UK
Boxing's deadly toll
05 May 98 | Sport
Minister KOs boxing ban
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