Whitfield op a success after broken jaw

Luckless Tom Whitfield's op on his broken jaw has been a success and coach Mal Gates hopes his unbeaten boxer will fight for the Northern Area title later this year.
Tom WhitfieldTom Whitfield
Tom Whitfield

The South Shields star had been due to face his Hartlepool rival at Gateshead on Friday, March 18, for the vacant Nothern Area welterweight belt.

It was a re-match of the exciting derby of 12 months ago, which Whitfield won on points at Houghton.

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But Whitfield suffered a broken jaw in sparring on Saturday, an injury which will put him out for at least six months. Promoter Steve Wraith has vowed the match will happen when the 29-year-old recovers.

Whitfield underwent a successful operation at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle yesterday.

His coach, Mal Gates, said: “All things considered, Tom is doing all right.

“He’s had his operation which was a success.”

Gates told the Gazette that it was a freak injury which put the former Birtley ABC boxer out of his re-match with Cope.

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“Tom had done a load of sparring in our gym with Lee Mould,” explained Gates. “It’s been great, Lee’s a strong and top lad, but not the fastest so I arranged with Imran Naemm for Tom to go and spar with Kallum Leather.

“They have done loads together over the years and Saturday was good, it was lovely controlled sparring.

“Tom had said his jaw was sore but in the car on the way home he never stopped talking so I took it that he felt OK.

“He was at his mam’s on Saturday night and they thought it looked swollen so he had it checked out and it was broken.

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“We were gutted but it’s boxing and things like this happen.

“I’d like to thank the Copes, who have been different class with us. This is sport at the end of the day and Daniel’s messaged Tom which was nice of him.

“This title fight will go ahead when Tom recovers and we will look forward to it.”