Mexican boxer Alejandra Ayala has revealed she will never fight again after she almost died from a brain injury suffered during a fight against Hannah Rankin in May.
Ayala was knocked out by Rankin in the tenth round of their WBA and IBO super-welterweight title fight and needed treatment in the ring, before being transferred to Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow for emergency surgery.
She was placed in a medically induced coma and needed multiple operations, with doctors informing her parents at one point that Ayala was unlikely to survive. However, the 33-year-old has made a miraculous recovery and is continuing to make progress back home in Mexico.
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In an interview with the Sunday Mail, Ayala said she feels "lucky" and "blessed" to still be alive and has been told she will never be able to return to the ring again. "I can't go back to boxing," she said.
"The doctors have told me I can never go back. But I don't feel bad, I don't have any regrets. I gave it my all in that fight. I already knew this was the last year for me.
"I have lots of plans for the future. I've just bought a new house and got married. I always wanted to fight for a World Championship – that was my goal. I got to do that and thank God I'm still alive. I'm lucky, I'm blessed and I feel really happy."
She continued: "In the run-up to the fight, Hannah and I had meetings and there was a good atmosphere. I was looking forward to the fight. Hannah was doing her job. It's hard to do what we do and I wish her the best.
"My parents told me she wanted to come see me and send flowers, which I appreciate, but at the beginning I couldn't stand up, I couldn't walk. I couldn't hear properly and the sound of people talking would bother me.
"After about a month I started different therapies and, when I finally learned to write again, I wrote Hannah a private message on Instagram. She replied saying, 'I'm really happy you're OK.'"
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