Conversation with Jerome Wilson gave Carl Frampton plenty to think about
Carl Frampton was given plenty of food for thought when he sat down with Jerome Wilson.
Frampton has remained non-committal on his fighting future ever since he fell to a unanimous decision defeat to Josh Warrington last December.
Frampton’s wife, Christine, has made no secret of her desire to see the Belfast fighter hang up his gloves for good and while ‘The Jackal’ has yet to reach a final decision, his chat with Jerome Wilson gave him a lot to think about.
Wilson's career came to an abrupt end in 2014 when a brutal knockout defeat to Serge Ambomo in a rematch resulted in a life-threatening head injury.
After being placed in a medically-induced coma, Wilson had to have a piece of his skull removed in order to remove the pressure on his brain, a procedure called a cranioplasty, and lived with that open space in his skull for a year.
His partner of 11 years, Michelle Boyce, urged Wilson not to accept the rematch and neither she nor her long-term partner are able to forgive Ambomo for his disrespectful post-fight celebrations when Wilson was in desperate need of medical attention.
Given the impact that boxing has had on her life, Michelle remains concerned about her son's recent interest in learning the ropes with Wilson and has warned young would-be fighters to consider the risks that are associated with the sport.
In the latest episode of TKO, Frampton and Chris Lloyd were invited into Wilson's home in Bradford and the details of his injury and recovery certainly made Frampton think.
"It hasn’t been easy to listen to, if I’m being honest," Frampton admitted.
"The fighter is often the last person to know when it’s time to hang them up. And I think that’s the importance of having a good team around you.
"Personally, myself, I just don’t want to go out on a fight like that and I feel like I can still win big fights against big names. That’s why I want to continue.
"Like I was saying to you earlier, I was a retired fighter in the changing room after the Warrington loss. But I’ve changed my mind.
"My wife isn’t happy as I’m sure you can imagine. She’s told me that she’d rather I don’t box and that I do retire. She’s told me that she’ll never go and watch me again which is understandable.
"But as a fighter, I just feel like I’ve still got more to give. But then you’re trying to weigh it up because I’ve got two young kids and your health is your wealth."
Michelle then interjected: "You’ve got to decide what’s right for you and your family because it’s not just you who’s going in that ring. It’s your partner, your kids, your family, they’re all there and it’s going to affect them as well."
"There’s a risk to everything," Jerome added. "The risk is there but you just have to make sure when you’re training you’re doing everything right and leaving no stone unturned.
"That’s a massive incentive and motivation for fighters to take on board when they’re deciding to get into that ring, they need to make sure that they have prepared correctly.
"Because I prepared correctly for my fight. I did everything right. I made sure I was fit because if I wasn’t, I don’t think I’d be alive now. That’s a massive reason why I’m here speaking to you.
"Because of the severity of the injury, if I wasn’t as young or as fit or as as strong or had that will to survive, I wouldn’t be here."