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Boxing icon Jeff Fenech provides health update after undergoing open heart surgery following major scare

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  • Jeff Fenech has undergone open heart surgery 
  • Boxing icon was hospitalised on Wednesday 
  • He went through the same procedure in 2019 

Jeff Fenech has undergone open heart surgery after being hospitalised with a mystery illness.

Australia’s greatest ever fighter had been through urgent tests on his heart at a private hospital in Sydney‘s inner west after his body temperature reached close to 40 degrees earlier this week. 

As a result, he was not on Main Event’s broadcast for Curtis Scott’s professional boxing debut on Wednesday night, but his TV colleague Ben Damon has since confirmed that Fenech, 59, is in recovery after doctors replaced a leaking infected heart valve.

‘Great news!’ he tweeted. ‘The legendary Jeff Fenech has had successful open heart surgery to replace a leaking infected heart valve and is now recovering in hospital. 

‘The surgeon is happy with how the six hour operation went.’ 

Jeff Fenech has had open heart surgery for a second time, it has been revealed

Jeff Fenech has had open heart surgery for a second time, it has been revealed

The boxing champion was admitted to hospital on Wednesday

The boxing champion was admitted to hospital on Wednesday 

He has undergone surgery after doctors discovered a leaking valve

He has undergone surgery after doctors discovered a leaking valve

It is the second time the former world champion has undergone open heart surgery. Back in 2019, surgeons in Thailand replaced another infected valve while he was holidaying there.

Speaking to News Corp on Wednesday, Fenech said: ‘I feel s***house.

‘I’m as sick as a dog. I have a mystery infection. I’m sick of it. 

‘They think it has something to do with my heart and valves. They have done heaps of tests. I don’t yet know what the results are.’ 

He first needed open heart surgery as he battled pneumonia, with the operation forcing him to miss his daughter Jess’s wedding. 

The ‘Marrickville Mauler’ started to cough up blood and had a shaking fit before being admitted to hospital in Bangkok, where doctors performed a five-hour operation and drained fluid from the boxing legend’s lungs and replaced his heart valve.

‘I’ve got some pretty bad news, I’ve got an infected valve that’s connected to my heart,’ he explained in 2019.

‘Which means over the next few days they’ll try to get rid of the infection and then I’ll have to have surgery.’

Fenech said earlier this week that he felt 'sick as a dog' and 's***house'

Fenech said earlier this week that he felt ‘sick as a dog’ and ‘s***house’

He then broke down in tears about not being able to stay at the camp with his boxers.

‘I feel really bad for the rest of the team,’ a distraught Fenech said.

Fenech first announced himself in the sport when he represented Australia at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, where he was robbed of a chance to contend for a medal by a highly controversial decision.

He went on to compile a professional record of 29 wins with 21 of those coming by knockout, three losses and an infamous judges’ decision that saw his first bout with Azumah Nelson scored a draw in 1991.

Fenech won titles at bantamweight, super bantamweight and featherweight, and was retrospectively awarded the WBC super-featherweight title in 2022 as the World Boxing Council corrected the result of that bout against Nelson.

He retired in 1996 and has since trained fighters including Danny Green and his good friend, former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson.