United States boxer Chuck Wilburn is fighting for his life at Blacktown Hospital, Sydney, after taking a severe battering from Australian welterweight title-holder, Hector Thompson in a ten round contest on Thursday (1 April).
READER TO CAMERA:
SV Wilburn on ropes being pounded by Thompson referee stops fight.
SV Referee stops fight and holds up Thompson's hand with Wilburn staggering to corner.
SVG Wilburn dazed refuses to sit down.
CU Wilburn speaking
SOF STARTS. with question
"Its a bit strange..............give it up".
MOSSOP: "The tenth round and Wilburn hanging on to a possible points win. But Hector Thompson was determined to put the issue beyond all doubt. All Wilburn could do was summon an instinctive courage and stay on his feet, and try to avoid the punishing blows. Punches coming from a man whose fight brought death to Rocko Spange at Newcastle in 1970. And coming up the punch that Wilburn's trainer says was the telling blow, a powerful uppercut on the chin. Soon it was all over, the victory was Thompson's as a groggy Chuck Wilburn staggered back to his corner. But even then he refused to sit down."
McMINN: "Its a bit strange to have a profession of boxing and nursing, I mean you must see the injury that the boxing can do to people."
CHUCK WILBURN: "Well, I see the injury that can be in on TV, your job, anybody else's job, its all different people have different tastes, work really appeal to them work really thrills them, this has always been interesting anything that excites me like this, and this is just like a hobby -- see if a man can hit me--hit me, hit me--like I'm there and then I'm not, and I try to be like that. If he hits me--wow. I hope I get to that pot of gold, if I don't, I don't, but I believe this is my last year, and I'm going to really try. In all these years I've been in training, but nothing's ever fallen through for me and this is my chance right here. If this blows through, or even after this year, I'm going to still give it a try, but after this year I'm going to just give it up".
Initials RH/1816 RH/MF/AW/1845
(This film is serviced with English commentary of the tenth round of the fight by Rex Mossop, and part of an interview in English between Ian McMinn and Chuck Wilburn. A transcript of these appears overleaf)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: United States boxer Chuck Wilburn is fighting for his life at Blacktown Hospital, Sydney, after taking a severe battering from Australian welterweight title-holder, Hector Thompson in a ten round contest on Thursday (1 April).
Wilburn is in a deep coma in the hospital, and his wife and mother have flown from the United States to be at his bedside.
Wilburn was a shade ahead on points going into the final round, but Thompson unleashed damaging right and left hooks to turn almost certain defeat into victory, knocking out Wilburn half way through the round.
Wilburn stopped breathing on the floor of the ring and was given immediate emergency medical attention. He was rushed to hospital where doctors performed a four-hour brain operation. Wilburn is believed to have suffered a brain haemorrhage.
The fight was Wilburn's first in eight months, and towards the end, lack of condition left him open to the barrage from Thompson.
Wilburn had been training to become a nurse, and in an interview during his preparation for the fight he said he realised the sort of injuries that could happen in boxing, but said any kind of work could be dangerous. He also said that he was going to give boxing up after this year.
SYNOPSIS: American boxer Chuck Wilburn is fighting for his life in a Sydney hospital after receiving a battering from Australian welterweight title holder Hector Thompson, in a bout in Sydney on Thursday. Rex Mossop of ATN 7 describes the tenth round. Reporter Ian McMinn had spoken to Wilburn before the fight about his dual careers of boxing and nursing.