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Wiped Out? The Jerome Wilson Story By Mark Turley and Jerome Wilson

Release date: 16th September, 2015
Publisher: Pitch Publishing

List Price: £12.99
Our Price: £12.07
You Save: £0.92 (7%)
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Only the dedicated fight fan would have heard of Jerome Wilson, an up-and-coming light-welterweight prospect, before he climbed in to the ring to face Serge Ambomo in what would prove to be his eleventh – and final – professional contest on 12 September 2014.

Wilson had been a professional fighter for four years, a period when he seems to have worried as much about selling tickets to his bouts as opponents, but a little over twelve months ago, his second duel against the powerful Ambomo came to a premature end when he was knocked out in the sixth round.

Such was the severity of the punishment inflicted on Wilson that when he eventually went down, it was Ambomo’s trainer, Glyn Rhodes, who leapt through the ropes and put him in the recovery position, fearing he had witnessed another boxing-related death.

Fortunately, Wilson recovered slowly, not quite fully, and with a quarter of his skull missing, told his harrowing tale to Mark Turley.

He had suffered a subdural haematoma, a significant bleed on the brain that often proves fatal for active participants in a sport the author calls ‘showbusiness with blood’.

At times, Wiped Out? is a troubling read for it makes you think deeply about boxing and its primary aim, ie to knock your opponent senseless, yet there’s no whingeing or calls to ban the sport from Wilson who was aware of the risks before he took up Ambomo’s challenge. Nevertheless, Turley conveys the pre-fight concerns and post-fight reactions of Wilson’s friends and family: touching, heartfelt comments that no doubt permeate the minds of those in similar positions before their sons / brothers / husbands / friends step into the ring.

Wiped Out? traces Wilson’s gradual recovery – he wins more than £100,000 playing online poker, only to lose every penny, for example, and, almost understandably, contemplates suicide: “I would be free. They [his family] would all benefit financially”. The birth of a son has banished such thoughts. Yet Wilson must live with the mental anguish as he waits to have a titanium plate fitted into his skull.

Meanwhile, the author and publishers (Pitch Publishing) have agreed to donate all profits from the book’s sale to Jerome Wilson; it’s to be hoped thousands of others do too.

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