Some bad news for women's combat sports this weekend. Swedish boxer Frida Wallberg remains hospitalized after an 8th round KO loss to Diana Prazak in Stockholm, Sweden. Wallberg was defending her WBC Super featherweight belt, and fighting for the WBAN Super Featherweight belt against Prazak.
Sports News Ireland has the details:
Wallberg ,who celebrated her 30th birthday on 28 April, is in intensive care at the world renowned Karolinksa University Hospital in the Swedish capital .Reports indicate that she was placed in a medically induced coma after receiving emergency surgery to relieve the pressure on her brain from a cerebral haemorrhage. She underwent surgery in the early hours of Saturday morning, soon after being rushed to the medical facility by ambulance.
The Swede took some severe punishment in the seventh but continued the round. In the 8th round, Wallberg was again on the receiving end and was knocked down by a short left hook, and later took an eight count from referee, Bela Florian. She bravely continued but went down again shortly thereafter at which point referee Florian terminated the bout.
Under Sweden's strict safety rules, Wallberg had undergone a scan only 2 weeks prior to the bout with no problems noted. One theory is that she could subsequently have suffered problems during tough training sessions undertaken since the scan. There has also been suggestions from various sources that the ringside doctor was slow to act after the bout ended and had to be summoned back to the ringside by Prazak's trainer, former Dutch world champion Lucia Rijker who demanded immediate medical action.
WomenBoxing.com has the latest update:
News from Sweden this morning confirms that Frida is no longer in an induced coma and has been talking to Doctors and to her boyfriend . So some encouraging news. Wallberg's boyfriend, boxing promoter Robert Stridsberg, told local media that Frida ‘will probably remain in hospital for up to six days'. Last night (Sunday) he posted this message ,at her request, on Facebook: "I´m awake now and don´t want anyone to worry. I am tired after all the medication. I felt I had the fight but my legs got heavy after the fifth and I was caught by a swing in the eighth." The message ,in Swedish, is signed, "Hugs from a tired Frida Wallberg."
Risk is an ever present reality of combat sports and something that fans, promoters and fighters should always be aware of. The publicity coming out of Wallberg's injury is all bad for women's boxing and it's a timely reminder for MMA fans that our sport is always one devastating KO away from tragegy.
Bloody Elbow wishes Wallberg all the best for a complete recovery.