One of the voices of the boxing world has narrowly dodged spending his life in a wheelchair after a nightmare motorcycle crash.
Legendary ring announcer David Diamante is facing lengthy rehabilitation after breaking his spine in three places in a motorcycle crash, just days after announcing Joseph Parker’s victory over Derek Chisora.
Diamante, the voice of Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, had just returned to Brooklyn, New York, when he lost control of his bike in icy conditions on one of its main streets.
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After sliding for almost 100 metres, Diamante crashed into a parked van and lay helpless as traffic rushed by his prone body.
“People were looking at me,” Diamante told Sports Illustrated. “But nobody was stopping.”
Eventually, someone did. That kind stranger not only called emergency services but also shielded Diamante with their own car.
“Before that,” says Diamante, “it was kind of a miracle that I wasn’t driven over.”
The 50-year-old boxing icon was then taken to hospital in a critical condition where he underwent five hours of surgery to help heal three fractures in his spine, several broken ribs and major damage to his right knee.
“The spinal surgeon told me he had never seen this type of injury without paralysis,” says Diamante. “I’m lucky, man. I’m really f***ing lucky.”
Despite that lucky feeling, Diamante now faces a long road of rehab from his current condition which has him largely bedridden.
“I’m not walking, is the unfortunate truth right now,” says Diamante. “Now I do believe I will walk and I believe I’ll walk quite well, but it’s going to take rehab and it’s going to take time.
“There’s things like being able to brush my teeth, or wash my hands, or pick something up, or walk up a step, or anything that anyone does normally, I cannot do that now. I’m not even close to doing that now. It’s really hard to do anything when you’re in this much pain, so that has to subside.”
Once it does, Diamante is determined to live up to his famed catchphrase, uttered at almost every fight he announces: “the fights starts now”.
“This is the type of injury that sidelines someone for life. But for me, this is literally, this is just a [Sunday]. I’m going to get through this. I don’t know how long it will take but I’m going to get through it. I will be back ringside again.”
This story first appeared in the New Zealand Herald and was republished with permission.