CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) _ A female boxer is expected to make a full recovery from a serious head injury that required surgery.

Australia's Patricia Devellerez was knocked to her knees during the fight Sunday against Agnes Tuitama in Christchurch. She sustained a delayed concussion and underwent surgery Sunday.

The fight was stopped immediately and Devellerez was taken to a hospital, where she was expected to remain for a week, New Zealand Boxing Council chairman Keith Walker said.

Andrew Gin, the official doctor at the fight, said Devellerez should make a full recovery and return to Australia within two weeks.

``I am a relieved man,'' Rocco Devellerez, Patricia's husband and trainer, said Tuesday at Christchurch Hospital. ``The signs she's showing means she's sure to make a full and complete recovery.''

The bout was held less than two weeks after Health Minister Michael Wooldridge renewed calls for a boxing ban after the death of Ahmad Popal in a bout in Melbourne.

But Patrick Devellerez, Patricia's father-in-law, defended the sport.

``Boxing is a sport like any other sport _ there is a risk and boxing is no exception,'' Devellerez told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.