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Ex-boxer Michael Watson urges witnesses to come forward after 'car-jacking'

Former boxer Michael Watson has appealed for witnesses after he was involved in a "very frightening, violent situation" during a suspected car-jacking.

The 51-year-old, left partially disabled after suffering a near-fatal brain injury during a WBO super-middleweight title clash with Chris Eubank in 1991, was attacked with friend Lennard Ballack on the Ridgeway in Chingford, east London on Thursday.

In a statement, Watson thanked fans for their support and urged for witnesses to come forward.

He said: " I am overwhelmed with all the messages I have received and the kindness shown to me and I would like to thank everyone for their concern.

"Lennard and I were involved in a very frightening, violent situation which came out of the blue in broad daylight in the middle of the afternoon.

"I don't want anyone else to have to go through that so I'm asking you to help the police in finding these men and bring them to justice."

Watson was taken to hospital with cuts to his back while his friend wa s also seen by doctors after one of the suspects sprayed a substance in his eyes.

The victims are now recovering at home following the incident.

A spokesman for Watson previously told the Press Association: "Somebody bumped into the back of the car that Michael and Lennard were in.

"There didn't appear to be any damage, but Lennard got out to speak to the people in the car behind them.

"From what I understand, the guys wound down their window and sprayed something in his eyes.

"The men then went to the car that Michael was in, he had his seatbelt half off by this point, and they dragged him out the car and along the floor. We are assuming it was an attempted car-jacking.

"The men then sprayed Lennard in the eyes again and drove away."

The suspects left the scene in a different vehicle, while the former world title challenger and his friend were left prone on the floor.

The spokesman 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.

"I gather the police have been very good, so the aim now is to catch the people who did this."

A Metropolitan Police spokesman confirmed officers were called to the scene shortly before 5pm to reports of an attempted robbery.

He said: "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.

"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."

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact police.


From Belfast Telegraph