For Nick Blackwell, the lure of the boxing ring proved too irresistible - despite being acutely aware of the massive risk he was taking by sparring again.
The 26-year-old underwent surgery over the weekend to reduce swelling on his brain following a sparring session.
The shock news came just eight months after Blackwell emerged from a week-long medically-induced coma following a now infamous bout against Chris Eubank Jr.
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Blackwell announced his retirement from boxing in April but recently admitted he was missing the sport.
"It has been hard, real hard. All of a sudden it's hit me that I can't fight again,” he said, per The Sun. "Now I can't do it, it's horrible. If I had a million quid I'd pay that to fight again and be back to how I was — that's how bad it is.”
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Blackwell knew Lockett wouldn't train him again
Blackwell also said that he’d asked his former trainer, Gary Lockett, if he’d help him train again if he was declared fit to box - and the answer was no.
"I probably could fight again if I wanted to. I'd have to go for a medical and stuff, but I spoke to Gary and said 'if I was fine to fight again would you train me?' and he said 'no’,” he added.
"I wouldn't have anyone else in my corner, so if Gary wouldn't train me I wouldn't come back."
Blackwell went behind Lockett's back
However, The Times have now revealed that Blackwell went behind Lockett’s back, dreaming of restarting his career with an Irish boxing license.
He resumed sparring and now finds himself back in hospital after suffering another serious injury.
Lockett has confirmed that he advised Blackwell not to step foot inside a boxing ring again.
“I told him ‘absolutely no f***ing way’,” Locket said, describing the moment Blackwell asked him if they could train again. “I told him there was no way he should be thinking about it because he had suffered a serious head trauma and he had been given a second chance at life. There was no way I would ever let him spar or box.”
Lockett: I can't believe he'd be so stupid
Lockett also told BBC Sport: "I couldn't believe Nick would be so stupid as to put his health at risk.
"I can't believe the boxer he sparred with, and coach or coaches involved, would ever allow Nick to spar when he's had a brain injury.
"In due course, I hope they are dealt with by the British Boxing Board of Control in the correct manner."