By Howard Dobson
Kiwi boxer Soulan Pownceby has been told he may never fight again after undergoing neck surgery today.
But while his future is uncertain, the undefeated 37-year-old, who has manslaughter and assault convictions, believes he can still be an inspiration to New Zealand's troubled youth.
He's the champ, but because of past his convictions, including the manslaughter of his five-month-old daughter Soulan Pownceby can't leave the country. He can only fight at home.
“I guess judgement from other people is making me stronger, and I’m not snapping or anything like that,” he says. “So I'm heading in the right direction.”
With the threat of being of stripped of his title, Pownceby fought over the weekend, all while needing neck surgery.
“The doctor is going to cut my neck open through the front,” he says. “He's going to pull out my C6 disc. He's going to replace it with a titanium one, so I'm going to be part titanium.”
The risks are significant.
“…basically one hit from getting temporary paralysis in my right arm.”
But his biggest dilemma against challenger Daniel McKinnon proved to be a cut eye, after an accidental head-butt.
The fight lasted eight rounds before the ring-side doctor called it off.
Pownceby was declared the winner by split decision.
“To remain undefeated as long as he has and to keep fighting with everything he has been through, I have got to give it to him,” says light heavyweight contender Daniel McKinnon. “He's very tough.”
Pownceby, who controversially represented New Zealand at the 2004 Athens Olympics and 2006 Commonwealth Games, says despite all the grief he has caused he wants to atone for his past.
“I want to inspire other kids that have got into trouble to turn their life around as well,” says Pownceby.
His rehabilitation after surgery today will take six months, but he vows his career is not over.
“This is definitely not going to be my last fight.”
source: newshub archive