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Prichard Colon has surgery again; family says to pray 'for a miracle'

Prichard Colon, the Puerto Rican welterweight who has been in a coma since suffering a traumatic brain injury during an Oct. 17 loss, underwent surgery last week and is expected to undergo another one this week, his family announced.

The specifics of Colon's operation last week and the one scheduled for this week were not disclosed, but he has had multiple surgeries since being injured.

"In the middle of [last] week, Pri underwent surgery," the family said. "[He will] go back to surgery next week. We ask that you take one minute to ask the creator for the health of our champion. Let us continue to pray to God for a miracle."

Colon (16-1, 13 KOs), who was a bright prospect, suffered the brain injury during a ninth-round disqualification loss to Terrel Williams, of Los Angeles, in an NBC-televised Premier Boxing Champions card from the EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia.

Colon collapsed in the dressing room shortly after the foul-filled fight and was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery to relieve pressure inside his skull.

In mid-November, Colon was moved to Shepherd Center, an Atlanta hospital specializing in treatment for those with brain and spinal cord injuries. In late February, Colon had spinal surgery so a catheter could be implanted in order to administer a drug to help loosen his muscles.

During the fight, Colon took some brutal, illegal punches behind the head, including one that caused a hard knockdown late in the ninth round that referee Joe Cooper did not call a foul on. Cooper deducted one point from Williams for rabbit punching in the seventh round, but there were other points in the fight where he did not issue any warnings or take additional points when Williams hit Colon behind the head, even though Colon complained about the fouls. Cooper has been heavily criticized for his performance.

Colon got to his feet after the knockdown, the second one of the ninth round, and returned to his corner, where his trainers began to cut off his gloves, apparently believing the scheduled 10-round bout had come to an end. When they could not get Colon's gloves back on in time, Cooper disqualified Colon. Colon walked to the dressing room under his own power but soon after became dizzy, vomited and passed out, at which point he was rushed to the hospital.

Two weeks ago, the Virginia Department of Professional & Occupational Regulation announced that it had completed its investigation of the fight and found "no regulatory violations."

"Our hearts go out to Prichard Colon and his family, friends, and fans," the DPOR said in a statement. "All of us at DPOR, along with the boxing community, continue to hold out hope for his recovery. We fully appreciate that no report can ever truly make sense of the tragedy that occurred in Fairfax, Virginia, on Oct. 17, 2015."

The DPOR report said, in part, "no regulatory violations appear to warrant disciplinary action against any Virginia licensees, including Williams. Cooper, the contract referee, generally maintained control of the contest -- despite noted disagreement over some foul calls and consistency of point deductions -- consulted with the ringside physician; and complied with regulatory requirements to attend to Colon's health. ... No one action (or failure to act) can be identified that is so apparent or egregious to justify holding accountable any one person."

The report concluded, "Although there is no evidence of foreseeable wrongdoing on the part of any particular individual, looking back at the 'what ifs' is indeed heartbreaking. DPOR remains committed to fighter safety, doing what we can to protect fighters despite the inherent risks of combative sports like boxing, and praying for Prichard Colon."