You can now leave comments on the articles that matter to you. Find out more here

Where is Prichard Colon in 2022? Will the former boxer recover?

Martin Cooper January 6, 2022
prichard colon 2021
Photo by Phelan M. Ebenhack/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Where is Prichard Colon in 2022? The promising boxer was left in a vegetative state after a 2015 bout with Terrel Williams and underwent an operation last year, prompting interest in his condition.

Who is Prichard Colon?

Prichard Colon Melendez is an American former professional boxer and gold medal winner at the 2010 Panamerican Youth Championship. He was seen as a promising prospect in the sport.

The 28-year-old was born in Maitland, Florida. His parents are Nieves and Richard Colon, a retired serviceman. At the age of ten, his family moved to Puerto Rico so Prichard could represent the island in boxing competitions.

After graduating from high school, Colon started studying business administration at the Universidad del Sagrado Corazon in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Soon after winning gold at the 2010 Panamerican Youth Championship in the 64kg category, he turned pro with an amateur record of 170–15.

The injury that changed Prichard Colon’s life

Three years after turning pro in 2012, Prichard came up against American boxer Terrel Williams at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia.

Williams beat Colon, then still a rising prospect, on a ninth round disqualification after Williams knocked Colon down twice and Colon’s corner removed his gloves, mistakenly thinking it was the tenth and final round.

“It was a nasty, ugly fight on both sides,” wrote Ring TV. The Puerto Rican fighter was docked two points for a low blow by referee Joseph Cooper. Williams had a point removed for rabbit punching.

  • EXPLORED: Did Jenna Marbles work at Barstool Sports? 

After the fight, Colon slipped into a coma for 221 days. He was in a persistent vegetative state, confined to a bed and required a wheelchair to move. He suffered a brain bleed from an injury sustained during the bout.

He left the ring under his own power but became dizzy and nauseous in his dressing room, the Guardian reported.

Colon underwent surgery to relieve pressure on his brain after the fight on 17 October 2015.

How is he doing in 2022? Will he ever recover?

A TikTok video resurrected interest in the former boxer. Now, people want to know about Prichard’s condition and whether he will ever recover.

The TikTok clip, posted by a user called N1kemo123, was shared in June 2021 and at the time had more than 800,000 likes. “Hope you get well one day Prichard,” the user wrote alongside before-and-after clips of the boxer’s condition.

So, how is his condition now? Will Prichard Colon ever fully recover? The 28-year-old continues to receive occupational therapy at Brooks Rehabilitation in Orange Park, Florida.

The swelling around his brain required a left hemisphere craniotomy, a removal of part of his skull, to allow the brain to expand and heal.

His mother, Nieves, is now his full-time caregiver. After a visit with a neurologist in September 2017, she was told she should not expect her son to improve beyond an unresponsive wakefulness state (UWS) – previously called the vegetative state.

People in UWS have a sleep/wake cycle but don’t otherwise interact in a meaningful way. However, in March 2018, when at Brooks, it was determined Prichard could communicate with his eyes.

His eyes were calibrated to an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device and Prichard was able to answer yes/no questions in English and Spanish at 80 per cent accuracy by looking at his answer choices on the screen, as reported by Brooks.

In June 2018, he began physical occupational therapy. By the beginning of 2019, he could manage some shoulder work, grasp and release pegs, and follow commands. His hands improved and he was able to stand with assistance within one month.

Prichard has since walked about the length of a football field with the help of therapists and some assistive devices. He can also maintain his balance while sitting unsupported for more than five minutes.

Successful surgery

In July 2021, the World Boxing Council (WBC) announced Prichard Colon had undergone more surgery, which had been a success.

“Prichard ended up with serious health consequences after a fight in 2015,” the WBC told Boxing Insider.

“In recent weeks it was found a collapse of his skull was pressing on the brain, for which a fragment had to be removed to be replaced by a plate.”

Fortunately, the operation went well.

Nieves told the same publication: “The doctor has already come to give the results of my son’s surgery, the champion Prichard Colón Meléndez.

“Everything went well. Thank you all for keeping my son in prayers for the huge messages and calls inquiring about us.”

We wish Prichard best wishes for his continued recovery.

Thoughts? Comment Below
LOGIN to Comment
LOGIN to Comment
Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know
Martin Cooper is a senior editor and writer at The Focus. The man behind the style guide comes from a newspaper and magazine background and has worked in the sports, aeronautical and hospitality industries. While head of production at The Argus he appeared on the Jeremy Vine radio show and worked as a freelancer on the sports desk at The Sunday Times. Martin is also an FA Level 1-qualified coach and took his youth team from division five to division one in two seasons before going out at the top.