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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 September, 2004, 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK
Sadness as boxing champ jailed
Robbie Regan in 1998
Robbie Regan announced his retirement in 1998
The ex-manager of boxer Robbie Regan has spoken of his sadness after the former world champion was jailed for attacking a south Wales couple.

Regan, 36, who won world titles at two weights, was sent to prison for 18 months at Newport Crown Court.

His former manager, Dai Gardiner, said the attack was "completely out of character" .

The case prompted calls for more to be done to help sports stars after their careers have finished.

Regan, 36, who won world titles at two weights before retiring after failing a brain scan in 1998, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

"I am very sad and disappointed - Robbie gave 100% to boxing and a lot of youngsters saw him as a role model," said Mr Gardiner.

He said boxers at the highest level could find it hard to adjust to life after they retired from the ring.

"If you get to world class or British class, that's the only employment you have got," he said.

"And when you lose that, at the moment, there is nothing else to go for, only just an ordinary job."

Sports psychologist Craig Mahoney, from Wolverhampton University, said the pressures on top sportspeople were "enormous".

"I think the government and sports collectively have got a responsibility here," he said.

"We see this in all sports where young performers achieve their self-esteem and purpose in life from sporting success."

"When the limelight disappears, they are often left with no skills."

He said each sport's governing body was currently relied upon to "enable young performers to do something worthwhile at the end of their careers".

Olympic star

Regan won the International Boxing Federation flyweight title in 1995 and then took the WBO bantamweight title a year later.

He attempted a comeback after two years out of the ring with glandular fever, but failed an MRI scan and was told he could never box again.

Born in Blackwood, he was also a member of the Great Britain Olympic team and represented Wales at the 1986 Commonwealth Games.

The court heard how Regan and two others attacked couple Kevin Hawkins and Christina Higginson after breaking down their front door in Bargoed, in the Rhymney Valley, in April.

Regan's co-defendants, Darren Thomas and Lynne Morgan, were also jailed.




SEE ALSO:
Ex-world boxing champ jailed
20 Sep 04  |  South East Wales


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