THE two most frustrating words in the English language are ‘what if’. These words allow us to escape reality and reflect on what could have been rather than what is. They can make us appreciate just how lucky we are or send us into a downward spiral from which we might never recover.
On the weekend in June that Julian Jackson was being inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, the Daily Mail ran a story about his old rival, Herol Graham, and how Graham’s knockout loss to the Virgin Islander wrecked him emotionally, having subsequently been hospitalised various times due to depression. “I felt like a horse had knocked me out,” said Graham. “I was out before I hit the floor.”
Over the years, Graham has tortured himself reliving the fight, one he had dominated and was totally in control of in the fourth round. He had closed Jackson’s right eye and was tantalisingly close to having the referee or ringside physician stop the contest. Graham just had to play it safe and the WBC middleweight title would have been his, if not in that round, then likely one soon after.