A young boxer’s hopes of a professional career in the ring appear to have been ended after an irregularity in his brain was detected.
Jake Winfindale, who trains at Glyn Rhodes’ Sheffield Boxing Centre in Hillsborough, has been told he has a cavernoma, a cluster of abnormal blood vessels which could rupture if he is hit hard to the head.
At the age of 21, Winfindale has an option to consider surgery - one he would take if it would ensure he could go back into full-contact boxing.
But, as things stand, he has had to accept that his beloved sport is too risky for him to pursue.
“When I was told I had to finish I was devastated” he said.
“I had a lot of potential and people said I was a smart fighter.
“But this cavernoma is a risk. One in 600 people have them. I had amateur fights and countless rounds of sparring, but it looks like I’ve finished.
“I come from Canklow, an estate which has its problems, and I wanted to set the bar high by coming from them and achieving something.
“But the little kids round there still look up to me and I am in the gym most days, training the youngsters. I want to keep that side of it going.”
Winfindale was given a boost last week when he was asked by world champion Kell Brook to train him on the pads.
“He just walked into our gym said he had ‘Just come to do a bit.’ I was quite shocked especially when he asked me if I’d take him on the pads.
“It took half a round to get used to him, Ingle fighters have their own ways and different shots, but you could tell he has got power and strength.
“Kell did a circuit and then had a go with the kids - some of them were trying to bash him up! They had a great time.”
Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane stadium is the likely location to host Brook v Errol Spence on May 27.