Boxing: Fighter recovering after surgery

Daniel MacKinnon (L) throws a punch at Robbie Berridge before the bout between David Tua and Alexander Ustinov at Claudelands Arena in Hamilton. Photo Getty Images
Daniel MacKinnon (L) throws a punch at Robbie Berridge before the bout between David Tua and Alexander Ustinov at Claudelands Arena in Hamilton. Photo Getty Images
Boxer Daniel MacKinnon was this evening conscious and talking to his friends and family, less than 24 hours after undergoing surgery to relieve bleeding on his brain.

The 30-year-old veteran pro had been left fighting for his life after losing a brutal light heavyweight contest with Robert 'The Butcher' Berridge on the undercard of David Tua's fight against Alexander Ustinov in Hamilton.

MacKinnon was due to be moved out of Waikato Hospital's intensive care unit tonight.

His wife and close family members spent Saturday night at his hospital bedside.

MacKinnon was stopped by Berridge in the 10th round of the fight in which both boxers were knocked down.

MacKinnon ended the fight on his feet when it was stopped by the referee and was able to conduct a post-fight interview in the ring.

Around 15 minutes after the fight he complained of head pains as he was preparing to take a shower.

He was then rushed to hospital where he underwent emergency surgery.

His manager Ken Reinsfield said this evening he was able to speak to the boxer on the phone and he was in good spirits.

"It was the best phone calls I think I have ever had - he is one tough individual.

"On behalf of Dan and his family I would like to send our thanks to the Waikato Hospital surgeons and staff for their outstanding care during what was an incredibly difficult time," he said.