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Old 02-10-2009, 04:42 AM
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Default Fighter's career over Docs tell hurt battler after bloody bout

Dean Lewis was having trouble breathing Friday night because of the copious amounts of blood he had breathed into his lungs.

Yesterday afternoon, however, the 18-year-old mixed martial artist from Fort McMurray, Alta., told his coach, while lying in a Health Sciences Centre hospital bed, that he wanted to resume training as soon as possible.

That will not be happening, as doctors informed Lewis that he will never fight again. Certainly not after the scary incident that happened Friday night at the Winnipeg Convention Centre.

Shortly after his fight against Winnipeg's Eric Perez on the inaugural Canadian Fighting Championship card, Lewis stumbled to his corner and collapsed. He couldn't breathe because of the blood in his lungs, so the doctors and paramedics, who are required to be at every fight card, put a breathing tube down his throat.

One of his coaches, Winnipeg MMA fighter Rodrigo Munduruca, said Lewis then had several seizures before being transported to hospital via ambulance.

The diagnosis, Munduruca said, was swelling of the brain and a severe concussion. Surgery, however, was not required.

Lewis was still under observation last night at HSC, but Dr. Ed Pilat, the Manitoba Boxing Commission's physician who worked on him in the ring, said the fighter should be released in a few days, "if not a little longer."

"That kid's tough as s---," Munduruca said.

"He's already walking, talking and was asking me when he could start training. I almost slapped him," Pilat said. "The doctors are surprised because (the swelling) is subsiding lots."

Worst he's seen

Pilat suggested the quick medical response might have saved Lewis' life.

Dr. Henry Janzen, the MBC chairman, called it the worst injury he's seen in his 15 years with the organization. Lewis and Perez engaged in one of Winnipeg's bloodiest battles in recent memory.

Pilat inspected the badly bloodied Lewis after the second of three five-minute rounds but the lightweight was deemed healthy enough to continue. Lewis' trainer, Edmonton's Kyle Cardinal, told Munduruca that his fighter was coherent enough at that point to keep going.

Munduruca wasn't ringside because he was preparing to fight later on in the card, but said he felt the bout should have been stopped after Round 2.

"When there's that much blood, stop it," he said. "There was so much blood."

Lewis gave as good as he got in the third round, even though at one point blood was pouring out of his nose. He collapsed only a few seconds after the final bell and doesn't remember much, according to Munduruca.

Dr. Janzen said everyone acting under his authority, including referee Adam Cheadle, did everything by the book.

"The conclusion, from the information that I've got, is his injury came because of the combination of receiving many hits. It wasn't one knockout blow," Janzen said.

Perez won by unanimous decision, meaning Lewis will end his five-month pro career with a 1-2 record.

"He will never be able to fight again -- ever," said Munduruca.


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