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Ex-boxer Watson injured in ‘car-jacking’


Former professional boxer Michael Watson has been attacked by men who sprayed him “with ammonia” in a car-jacking bid.

Watson, who was left partially disabled after a near-fatal brain injury in 1991, was driving in Chingford, east London, with his carer Lennard Ballack when they were hit by a car from behind.

After getting out to speak to the people in the vehicle, Mr Ballack was sprayed in the face with a suspected noxious substance, believed to be ammonia.

Mr Watson, 51, was then “dragged” out of the car and along the floor by the men, who sprayed Mr Ballack in the face again before leaving the scene in a different vehicle.British boxer Michael Watson suffered a near-fatal head injury during a fight in 1991

Mr Watson is also believed to have been sprayed with the substance during the attack on Thursday evening.

A spokesperson for the former Commonwealth middleweight champion said: “Lennard’s suffering a bit – his eyes are not good. Michael is okay.

“I think he is very, very sore though. He got dragged along the road so some of the skin has broken badly.”

In a statement, Metropolitan Police said officers were called to reports of an attempted robbery.

A spokesperson added: “Two men, aged in their 50s, informed officers that they had been sprayed in the face with a suspected noxious substance by two suspects who attempted to steal the car.¬†Michael Watson, pictured at his first public appearance after his bout with Eubank

“The male suspects fled the scene in a different vehicle.

“The victims were assessed at the scene by the London Ambulance Service before being taken to an east London hospital for further treatment; their injuries are not life-threatening.”

During a world title bout with Chris Eubank in 1991, Watson sustained a brain injury which left him in a coma for 40 days.

Following six operations to remove a blood clot, the 51-year-old spent six years as a wheelchair user before he regained his mobility.

In 1999, Watson was awarded a reported £1m in damages from the British Boxing Board of Control over the lack of medical procedures at the world title fight at White Hart Lane, north London.

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