Paul Sykes = Legend


"Yes, squid pro roe..."
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Paul Sykes, A heavyweight boxer from Wakefield

Sykes's adult life was peppered with alcohol abuse, petty robberies, violent crime and prison. Nonetheless, he fought ten bouts as a professional boxer between 1978 and 1980, peaking in June 1979 when he lost a British and Commonwealth title fight to John L. Gardner, actually turning his back and walking away in the 6th round to end the beating Gardner was issuing him with. His career ended in March 1980 when African journeyman Ngozika Ekwelum knocked him out in the first round.

He was classed as one of the most difficult prisoners in the UK throughout the 1980s and spent over 20 years in prison for many violent acts against prison officers and police officers. He committed violent offences all over the North of England and was very well known to locals and the police in Leeds, Liverpool, Blackpool, Hull, and Rotherham, and also known and respected by the hard cases in London. Many classed Paul Sykes as the hardest man in Great Britain during the 1980s.[citation needed] One of his habits was to spit in a pint and steal it from its owner. One time in the late 80's in a Wakefield pub near the prison he did this and was savagely beaten outside the pub when he left.

While in prison, he earned a BA in Physical Sciences from Open University and wrote a memoir, Sweet Agony. Following his release from HM Prison Hull in 1990, producer Roger Greenwood followed him in the course of filming the documentary Paul Sykes: At Large.

In 2000, Wakefield Council secured an ASBO banning him from the city centre. He was arrested in August 2003 for violating the ban by making an appointment with an optician in Wakefield, but was released on his own recognizance.\
what a geez!
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