BY TOBY PORTER
One of the most highy rated but unheralded names in British boxing faces the biggest contest of his life at the end of this month – but his thoughts as he prepares will be for another less fortunate fighter.
Undefeated Ted ‘The Big Cheese’ Cheeseman battles Asinia Byfield – beaten only once in 15 fights – at the Copper Box Arena on October 27.
They will face off for the British Welterweight Crown.
The 23-year-old sold tickets for the fight outside The Den before the game between his beloved Millwall and Aston Villa on Saturday – in Zampa Road – so fans could do their bit, too.
All the commission he gets from ticket sales will go towards a fund to help fellow fighter Charlie Wynn, from Southwark, who has been in hospital from brain injuries suffered during sparring in March, as he prepared to defend his unbeaten record in his third pro fight.
Wynn became very weak towards the end of a six round sparring session and lost consciousness and was taken to King’s College Hospital.
His family were told he had suffered an acute subdural haematoma – a large brain bleed.
Wynn had to have emergency lifesaving surgery where a proportion of his skull was removed to relieve dangerous pressure within his skull.
The operation was successful and the bleed was evacuated, but Wynn’s brain had been significantly injured as a result of the bleed.
Wynn was in hospital for 10 weeks in a coma. He was moved on May 25 to the Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability in Putney.
His family have been by his beside since he was moved there six months ago. Speaking before the game on Saturday, Cheeseman said: “My thoughts have been with Charlie ever since it happened.
“I did not want to interfere because it is a private thing, but I will do anything I can to help.
“All the commission on the tickets I sell on Saturday will go towards the fund his family have set up.
They are doing everything they can to get him back to his best. He has been one of the unlucky ones. You never know what is going to happen in boxing. It could just as easily happen to me. Touch wood, it never does.
“It is a big day for Millwall. We have not had a good start. We need to pick it up. It does not look like we will win the league this year but I will be there cheering them on.
I don’t get to as many games as I would like because Saturdays are a big training day but sometimes I can pop along like Saturday.”
Wynn had been sponsored by Lions fans. Millwall’s fan on the board Micky Simpson and former Millwall Trust chairman – now editor of Coldblow Lane Magazine – Nick Hart walked the 11 miles from Charlie’s gym in Bromley, the iBox, to The Den, before last week’s 3-2 defeat by Sheffield United. The duo expect to have raised up to £2,000 with the walk.
Simpson said: “Charlie was an up-and-coming boxer with a good future ahead of him before this happened. “He is a lovely fella. He gave me loads of motivational talks – or abuse, if you like – before I did the London marathon in April.
But he was in hospital so couldn’t see me complete it. I did it, even if it was in seven hours 26 minutes. No doubt he will give me stick when I go and see him, hopefully in the next couple of weeks.
“Millwall fans have been amazing to him. It just goes to show how we look after our own.”
Charlie’s wife Alana said on the fundraising page: “A lot of support was offered by many people after Charlie’s injury and his boxing family at the IBOX gym immediately rallied around ensuring financial support was given. Charlie is self-employed.
But at that time fund raising seemed too much too soon. Since this move his progress has been quite remarkable.
Five months on from Charlie’s accident we are now coming to terms with the time scale of his rehabilitation and are more aware of his needs.
Our rehabilitation centre is not NHS funded, extra physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy sessions all have to be privately funded, along with any adjustments that may be needed to his home.
“Our ultimate goal is to get Charlie home. His words ‘I want to get home and to be able to walk’. We will strive to ensure that he is able to accomplish these goals and greatly appreciate your help and support in his journey.
“Charlie is a fighter. This is the biggest fight of his life but he will win it.” The justgiving page is at https://uk.gofundme.com/ charlie-wynn.