Boxing: Warren defends Cook after freak injury ends fight
Monday 18 July 2011
After just 93 seconds of bizarre action Nicky Cook was carried off to retirement with his neck in a brace, his legs strapped to a stretcher and a look of pain on his face on Saturday night at the Echo Arena, Liverpool.
Cook, who is 31 and has been boxing for 20 years, was diagnosed with a prolapsed disc and will undergo more intensive tests before being allowed to fly home to his bar in Tenerife. The freak injury occurred after only five seconds when World Boxing Organisation super-featherweight champion Ricky Burns connected with a wayward left, which landed on the base of the spine, and Cook immediately twisted in pain and fell to the canvas.
There was confusion and jeers as Cook tried bravely on four separate occasions to continue before his father and trainer, Paul, threw in the towel to help persuade the referee that the pointless heroics needed to end. Cook was in agony as he slumped to the canvas one last time before the medics rushed to help him.
"Nicky had every type of medical before the fight," said Frank Warren, the fight's promoter. "He has trained properly and Sky even filmed him training – this was just a freak accident. I'm hearing all sorts of crap, but the truth is that he tried to fight on again and again when he was clearly suffering tremendous pain." Cook, like many fighters, has had back trouble before but there was no suggestion during his training camp in Tenerife or the week in Liverpool that he was not fit to fight.
As expected the chief supporting contest between lightweights John Murray and Kevin Mitchell developed quickly into a potential domestic fight of the year before a stunning end. Murray was unbeaten in 31 and Mitchell had not fought in 14 months since losing for the first time; the winner of the fight was guaranteed a world-championship opportunity and Mitchell was desperate for redemption after a dreadful year.
Murray took control of the early rounds, catching Mitchell and pushing him back at all times, but he was not moving his head; Mitchell was slowly finding the target with classic counters even when he lost rounds. The caution worked wonderfully and by round six Murray's face was swollen with bruising. In the eighth Mitchell dropped Murray with a sweet left hook and seconds later, as Murray stumbled, referee Richie Davies stopped the fight.
Latest in Sport
Angel Di Maria latest: PSG have 'only offered £28.5m' for winger, Manchester United holding out
Manchester United fans want Louis van Gaal to sign Cristiano Ronaldo over Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski this summer
Angel Di Maria to PSG: Winger to join ranks of worst Manchester United buys - but he's not the biggest ever waste of money
Arsenal vs Wolfsburg player ratings: How did Petr Cech perform and was goalscorer Theo Walcott the standout player?
Chelsea vs Barcelona preview: 'Football without titles is nothing,' says Jose Mourinho
- 1 Reader dilemma: 'My boyfriend jokes about putting photos of us having sex on Facebook'
- 3 Ralkina Jones: 37-year-old black woman found dead in police custody
- 4 Kanye West praises Caitlyn Jenner on I Am Cait: 'You couldn't have been up against more'
- 5 Five-year-old boy forced classmate to simulate oral sex at primary school, claims mother
The 9 charts that show the 'left-wing' policies of Jeremy Corbyn the public actually agrees with
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
The last thing Labour needs is a leader like Jeremy Corbyn who people want to vote for
What the Labour party could look like under Jeremy Corbyn
I am the Jeremy Corbyn supporter that many will tell you doesn't exist
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
£18000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Insurance Bro...
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Junior IT Support Technician ...
£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides actionabl...
Negotiable depending on experience, plus benefits: Guru Careers: We are seekin...