- Prichard Colon, an American-Puerto Rican pro boxer locked horns with Terrel Williams on October 17, 2015
- Repeated blows to the back of the head of Colon resulted in him collapsing, vomiting, before going into a coma for 221 days.
The realm of combat sports consists of several disciplines, including boxing, MMA, etc. And each one of them comes with a specific set of rules that athletes must obey and follow. History has shown that any signs of negligence can lead to irreparable damage. One such story happens to involve two boxers named Prichard Colon and Terrel Williams.
Prichard, an American-Puerto Rican pro boxer was on his way to lock horns with Terrel Williams on October 17, 2015. A win over Williams would have helped Colon extend his perfect record to 17-0. Unfortunately, what followed would change Colon’s life for the worse.
The infamous welterweight contest took place at Fairfax’s EagleBank Arena. The boxing match started as any other fight, however, things started to get ugly soon after. Fans witnessed repeated blows on the back of the 30-year-old’s head at the hands of Williams.
Colon kept complaining to the ref about the repeated ‘rabbit punches,’ however, no one seemed to take any significant action. During the 9th round, Terrel knocked Colon down twice to the canvas. Prichard’s cornermen thought it was the final round, thus leading to them cutting off his gloves. This led to Colon’s disqualification.
Prichard Colon went into a coma after the infamous boxing match
Right after the bout, a disappointed Colon left for his dressing room where he started vomiting and collapsed. The welterweight, who was 23 at the time, went into a coma, remaining there for 221 days after being diagnosed with brain bleeding. The Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia treated the welterweight for a long time before being shifted to his mother’s home in Orlando, Florida.
This definitely added to an already stressed-out family of Colon. In 2017, two years after the horrific tragedy, Prichard’s parents filed a lawsuit seeking damages worth $50 million. The case hasn’t been settled or moved to trial as of yet. Even the former heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder mentioned Prichard’s story while speaking on the dangers of boxing.
Notably, ‘The Bronze Bomber’ broke down in tears and wished a speedy recovery to the 30-year-old. “I don’t even know him like that, but I’ll always be an advocate for us because this man will never know what it feels like to be someone’s father. And that’s the most precious thing in the world, to be somebody’s father”. As such, the boxer called for more respect for fighters, even those who are not yet famous.
Notably, Wilder made these statements after a brutal KO win over Robert Helenius on October 15, 2022. Despite being a competitor, the 38-year-old’s heart went out to his opponent and to Colon. Moreover, the gravity of Wilder’s comments brought a lot of attention to Prichard’s situation as well, leading to an output of support.
How is Prichard recovering at present?
In 2021, the Puerto Rican underwent skull surgery. Thankfully, everything turned out to be positive behind the closed doors of the operation theatre. Colon’s mother, Nieves Meléndez said, “The doctor has passed to give the results of my son’s operation, the CHAMPION Prichard Colón Meléndez. Everything went well, the Doctor informed us.”
A week before his surgery, the WBC declared him the honorary champion. As of now, Colon is still in an unresponsive state, commonly referred to as a vegetative state. However, the 30-year-old can still perform certain tasks. As of 2024, Colón is unable to speak and remains unable to walk on his own. Understandably, his mobility is still severely affected by his condition.
Ever since 2018, Colon has been residing in the care of his loving and supportive family. Thanks to the therapy he receives in Florida, the ex-boxer is now able to communicate with his eyes, move his hands, and even stand a little along with proper assistance. This is a marked improvement, showing his fighting spirit despite the setback.
Fortunately for his fans around the world, Colon’s family has started a YouTube channel, showcasing his recovery on a regular basis. The channel boasts a good 191K subscribers at present.
Where is Terrel Williams now?
Terrel has publicly expressed his concern for Colon’s health on a regular basis. The American boxer went on to fight 4 more times after the tragic incident. He suffered his first and only professional boxing loss in his last fight against Thomas Dulorme in 2019. Williams is said to have no social media due to the constant hate he receives for the 2015 bout.
Speaking to The Ring Magazine in 2018, Terrel said, “I pray for Prichard every day. That’s never going to change. […] But there has been a lot of malicious stuff that’s being said about me, especially from the Colon family. If that is how they’re going to cope with it and it helps them heal, then that’s what it is. I’m still healing too. […] I understand and I know I didn’t do anything wrong that night.”
‘I don’t want to think about what could have happened if that fight went one more round. That fight haunts me every day,” continued Terrel. “I have no problem with the Colon family protesting me. More power to them. I still want to talk to Colon’s family. It will probably never happen.”
Colon’s mother Nieves shared in a 2017 interview, “I don’t lose hope because I still believe in god. And I believe in my son also. I believe my son can wake up one day but we don’t know when. That’s my dream, my hope, my faith.”
For fans unaware, Colon took part in London’s 2012 Summer Olympics but came up short by losing in the third round. Right after the Olympics, Prichard Colon decided to start his pro boxing career at 20. What do you make of the tragic story surrounding Prichard? Let us know in the comments.
Did Terell Williams receive any penalty for his actions?
As mentioned previously, Terell Williams still receives a lot of abuse due to the outcome of his actions. For the most part, he is often blamed for intentionally harming his opponent, which has resulted in serious repercussions. Notably, things have reached a point where people in the media are being criticized for trying to garner sympathy for him.
As such, Williams has firmly been labeled as a ‘murderer’ in the eyes of many. Owing to Colon’s tragic situation, the American boxer reportedly sent a private apology to the family. Additionally, he also took a break of two years before fighting again. Notably, Terrell was handed an indefinite suspension by the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission. Having injured his arm against David Grayton, many felt that it was karma for his actions.
However, Williams would then go on to fight two more times in 2019, against Justin DeLoach and Thomas Dulorme. Whilst he won the fight against DeLoach by a split decision, he lost the fight against Dulorme by a unanimous decision. Interestingly, it is the last fight on his record, with the fighter being inactive ever since, and without any injury. Possibly, the backlash of the situation has prompted him into yet another exile from the sport.