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Paul Sykes: At Large
a_baron3 September 2017
Paul Sykes was a living legend. In his own mind, at least. For those less ancient than the current writer, he shot to fame briefly when after becoming a professional boxer relatively late in life he hammered American import David Wilson, leaving him on a life support machine. Thankfully, Wilson recovered. Sykes went on to fight John L. Gardner for the British & Commonwealth Championship. Although he ended up turning his back, he was not disgraced in what had up until the finish been a tough fight. Not mentioned here is the fact that in his last fight he was knocked out in the first round by an unknown Nigerian journeyman at Lagos.

Also not included here because they were still boys when this documentary was made is the sad fact that both his sons are now serving life sentences for murder. The killings were unrelated. Sykes himself died in March 2007 at the far from advanced age of sixty.

Sykes was a big man with a big mouth, a bully and a thug. If he was not an alcoholic then he certainly had problems with drink, which played a large part in his death. He also had charisma, and a certain rough charm, and was a highly intelligent man who could have carved out a much bigger legacy than a Koestler Award and a small circulation non-fiction book.

"Paul Sykes: At Large" gives an insight into the real Paul Sykes; it includes contributions from both his parents, who clearly didn't think much of him; he must certainly have been a bitter disappointment to his father, who like his son saw a great deal of prison life, though from the perspective of an officer.
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