Sheffield boxer says sorry over antics following serious injury

Sport - it’s about passion, rivalry, sacrifice and commitment.

But more than that, it’s about people. And when people get hurt, the sport, itself, becomes utterly insignificant.

The Kiss - Jerome Wilson v Serge Ambomo 12/09/14

The Kiss - Jerome Wilson v Serge Ambomo 12/09/14

That’s how it was at the weekend after Sheffield’s Jerome Wilson suffered a “severe” head injury after being KO’d by city-based Cameroonian Serge Ambomo.

This re-match between the skilled boxer that is Wilson and the rough-house in-fighter from Africa had hinted at something spectacular.

Sadly spectacular was replaced by sickening as Ambomo flattened his weakened opponent for a second time of the night, in the six rounder at iceSheffield. He’d decked him in the second round, the former Olympian playing up to the crowd by saluting over his rival’s body.

The showboating continued. 76 seconds into the final round, Wilson was disorientated by two sweeping right hands to his head and fell heavily on his back. Ambomo slipped himself, but used the split second on the floor to plant a kiss on Wilson’s head.

Final knockdown punch - Jerome Wilson v Serge Ambomo 12/09/14

Final knockdown punch - Jerome Wilson v Serge Ambomo 12/09/14

As our video at shows, Ambomo’s trainer Glyn Rhodes was first to put Wilson in the recovery position. Then came the paramedics, applying an oxygen mask.

Unconscious, the 29-year-old Arbouthorne dad was ambulanced to the Northern General, stabalised, then sent to the Royal Hallamshire.

He underwent an operation and is in an induced coma.

The incident proves anybody who sets foot in a boxing ring puts his life in his own hands.

Fight fans know the horror stories that have engulfed the likes of Paul Ingle, Bradley Stone, Michael Bentt, Michael Watson and Benny Paret.But when you see it happen in front of you, two Sheffield-based fighters in a Sheffield ring, it brings it home so much more nauseatingly.

I’d stood ringside, thinking that any minute, Wilson would be on his feet, or sitting on a stool - something I have witnessed dozens of times after a KO. Everybody, including the shocked ref Alvin Finch, was willing him to come round.

Instead it was a stretcher that carried him out, the stricken welterweight unaware of the crowd’s respectful applause.

When I spoke laterto Ambomo, in his pigeon English, he was sincrely apologetic.

“My opponent is a very good boxer and I respect him. I didn’t know something had happened like this. I am like him, we are friends” he said.

He said he’d become over “emotional” when he had won - and kissed his opponent without knowing how hurt he was. He’d wanted Wilson to go home being very well”, rather than incapacitated.

As for the rest of the weekend boxing, it mattered hugely to all concerned. But for me, it was completely overshadowed by Wilson’s injury.

IceSheffield (Fri) incl: Ahmet Patterson bt Chad Gaynor, Eng welter title, Maxi Hughes bt Kakhaber Avetisian (Int Masters) Dave Fidler bt Damian Taggart, Lee Appleyard bt Jamie Quinn, Jamie Hughes bt Nathan King, Mark Weston bt Bheki Moyo.

Octagon (Sat): Liam Cameron bt Philip Kotey (Commonwealth elim) Lewis Taylor drew with Adam Jones, Waleed Din bt Mikheil Soloninkini, Csaba Kovacs bt Pharys Nassa, Ramzy bt Aivaras Balsys, Uzair Najib bt David Kvaratskhelia, Muheeb Fazeldinbt Giorgi Kulumbegashvili and Nicolie Campbell bt Joe Brailsford.