Champ Askin visits stricken foe

Askin - in action against Edwards
Askin - in action against Edwards
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Blackpool boxing champion Matty Askin has visited his beaten rival Menay Edwards in hospital in the wake of their hard-hitting English cruiserweight title fight, which ended in the defeated London fighter being detained in hospital.

Edwards suffered bleeding to the brain, but his boxing career is over after the ninth round stoppage at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool.

Edwards has been detained in Blackpool Victoria Hospital and was visited by Askin, who spent an hour at his bed-side.

Steve Goodwin, Edwards’ manager, said: “The bleeding on Menay’s brain has stopped and that is a positive sign, but he has not been eating and is in some pain and feeling depressed.

“Maybe the reason that he is depressed and not eating is the fact that he has not come to terms yet with the fact that he will not be able to box again.

“It is good that Matty Askin took the time and the trouble to visit him in hospital.”

Askin said that Edwards had told him that there were no hard feelings and he should not blame himself for what happened.

Askin said: “I spent an hour with Menay at the hospital - he was able to walk a bit and was still in some discomfort.

“We talked and reminisced about the fight and about how we both put our heart and soul into it.

“I had been dreading going to see him, but he told me not to blame myself - we both know the business and it is all part of boxing.

“There is a lot of talk before a fight, but it is only bravado and people don’t always see the camaraderie there is between boxers after a fight.

“It is a brilliant sport like that - Menay wished me well for the future and told me he hoped that I would win more titles

“I have given him my phone number - hopefully we will stay in touch and I have told me that if he wants any help he should contact me.”

Askin was at the hospital for an x-ray on a damaged right hand

The x-rays revealed there was no break and the injury will not sideline him from the fight game for any significant length of time.

There was a concern for Askin that he could have suffered a fracture of the right hand, but x-rays have revealed that is tissue and tendon damage.

Askin said: “It will be a couple of weeks (to clear up). But I will be back in the gym this week -I can’t make a fist yet, but it won’t stop me working in the gym and doing slide and slide work.”

Askin’s aspirations are higher than the English title he currently holds - he won the title by beating China Clarke and retained it with the stoppage win over Edwards, who was stretchered out of the ring

The cruiserweight division has become hot with Nathan Cleverley and Tony Bellew in the mix.

Askin said:“I have sparred with Tony Bellew and come on a bomb because of it -I have had the British title on my mind for two or three years - I am in the best mentality and frame of mind of my life.”