Liam Cameron’s delight at winning a Commonwealth title eliminator has been overtaken by sadness over the serious injury to boxing buddy Jerome Wilson.
Wilson, from Arbourthorne, Sheffield, suffered a head injury after being KO’d by Burngreave-based Serge Ambomo at iceSheffield last Friday.
The scale of the injury - Wilson is ‘critical’ and remains in the Royal Hallamshire after an operation - sent shock waves through boxing.
It was felt most acutely in Sheffield, particularly by Cameron, and others who had to fight on, in the same weekend.
Cameron, 23, said he was praying for Wilson and his family. He told The Star: “I remember my first day walking into the gym and Jerome was one of the first people I met..such a great lad. We trained for some years. It was hard to get it out my head before my own fight, it reminded me how hard this sport is and I just hoping he is going to be OK.”
Cameron stopped African Philip Kotey, 32, at the Octagon, emulating a similar success by Kell Brook in 2010.
“My fight was great” said Manor Park’s Cameron. “The kid was as hard as nails but I broke him down.
“He could punch like a mule; he’s been in win two world champions and has had more KOs than I have had fights.”
Cameron’s promoter Dennis Hobson believes his man’s recent successes have been down to renewed confidence and fighting at a more appropriate weight, super-middle.
The boxer said: “I am training hard and I had to thank people like Chris Smedley, Steve Barnes and Dennis for giving me a second chance and believing in me.
“The hard work is paying off. I just feel stronger and am hitting harder. Before, I’d been killing myself at lower weights, not eating or drinking, but now I am ready to get to the very top at super-middle.”
Meanwhile, many other boxers have pledged their support to Wilson. “Hull lightweight Tommy Coyle summed it up on twitter: “My thoughts go out to Jerome Wilson and his family. May God bless you, stay strong champ.”