Australia’s great warrior Jeff Fenech, who lit up the lower weight classes with his ferocious style of fighting in the 1980s and ’90s, is currently fighting for his life in a hospital in Thailand. According to a report from The Daily Mail, Fenech, 55, was “sweating, shaking and could barely walk” as he was diagnosed with pneumonia.
Worse still, the report says, Fenech has also been coughing up blood and he has a lung infection. “Every night I have been here I think I’m not going to wake up tomorrow,” Fenech told The Sunday Telegraph. Of course all fight fans the world over wish Fenech, known during his thrilling career as “The Thunder From Down Under,” a full and speedy recovery.
Who can forget the relentless and all-out aggressive style Fenech fought with back in his prime? Wars with the likes of Azumah Nelson (who Fenech actually fought three times; once when both men were old guys), Carlos Zarate, Daniel Zaragoza, Marcos Villasana and others made Fenech a genuine hero in his homeland and beyond. A world champion at three different weights, Fenech is perhaps best remembered for his two great battles with Nelson; the first of which being scored a controversial draw on the Tyson-Ruddock card in Las Vegas back in 1991.
Nelson got his payback in the return, travelling to Australia to halt Fenech in a violent affair the following year. Fenech, though, won the third fight, via close decision, in his final fight, in 2008. 29-3-1(21) overall, Fenech really had only one weakness in his prime: that of notoriously brittle hands. Had he not sufferd from bad hands, Fenech might have achieved even more than he did. As it is, Fenech, who fought as a pro from 1984 to 1996, with the one-fight return with Nelson in 2008, was inducted into The Hall of Fame in 2002.
Again, let’s all hope Jeff makes a full and speedy recovery. British hero Frank Bruno recently battled pneumonia and thankfully he recovered. Fenech has as big a heart as Bruno, so fingers crossed.