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Accidentally I was watching Jeremy Kyle one day having my coffee and a piece of toast. I do sympathise with some of their guests as I feel they are exploited. Even the victims are paraded on TV and have their lives analysed in a mere 20 minutes. After a metaphorical sentence by 'Jezza' they are then carted off to be judged by Joe public or rehabilitated by his aftercare team. It's madness and probably has some long-winded political agenda behind it which I won't get into. On this particular morning, a girl called Kayleigh was having trouble with her man James who was said to be a serial cheat. After giving Jeremy Kyle the details, her man walked on as brazen as most guests are on the show. A really big bloke with a neck that looks the guy can take a good sock from an opponent. I'm a bit of a boxing anorak. I do watch too much fighting; whether it be mixed martial arts or the sweet science. There was something really familiar about this guy although at this point he was cussing his girlfriend, stating "you try living with that."
It was difficult watching. The only thing that kept me on the channel was his familiarity and his attractive ex-partner. After a bit of thought, I deducted he was a boxer I had seen on the 'Calzaghe v Lacy' boxing match under card. I didn't know his full name ,but from various forums I found out his real name was Jamie Hearn.
Before I continue about his exploits on Jeremy Kyle, I want to talk a bit about his professional fighting career.
'I could have been a contender...'
Jamie Hearn the fighter has two impressive combat records; currently in professional boxing that stands at 11-8-1 and 5-6 in mixed martial arts. On the Calzaghe v Lacy undercard, promoted by Frank Warren. Now you have to think, Frank Warren knows a good fighter and when you think he could get his fighter a scalp of a prospect then he would. On that card, Jamie Hearn was fighting none other than future world champion Chad Dawson. 'Bad Chad' would go on to have victories over legends such as Bernard Hopkins and the tough Antonio Tarver. With that in mind, the bout with Jamie was very competitive while it lasted. At the time Jamie was a super-middleweight but packing muscle so you could see he was not going to be a push over for most. He had a very sensible style, boxing behind a high guard, looking for his spots. Add to that the fact he had dynamite in both hands and it makes you wonder how this guy never got close to a title. The two traded blows for 3 rounds until Jamie eventually got rocked. Still, the man from Windsor fought valiantly, throwing hooks, but was unlucky not to be able to withstand the onslaught from Dawson. Yet you couldn't have asked for a braver performance from a fighter and on a card that could elevate his status. Why then did he end up on ITV, taking part in a program which shows the worst parts of our society?
Living the dream?
I think only Jamie will truly know why he isn't a mainstream boxing star, but the story never stopped there. The 'Real Deal' went on to fight Tony Dodson to get stopped in the fifth round which seemed to have temporarily stalled his boxing career. It was a close taste of glory as the fight was for the English Super-Middleweight title. That would be no small feat by any extension of the imagination, to even compete at that level shows the guy had serious skills. Having had up and down success boxing, it seems Jamie turned his eyes to mixed martial arts.
Second shot at glory?
After his first MMA bout, where Jamie showed an impressive set of skills winning by rear naked choke; the 'Real Deal' was given a fight with rising star Jimmy 'The Poster Boy' Manuwa. This was on well-known British promotion 'Ultimate Challenge MMA,' which, again, is no small feat. This to me seemed like another opportunity for Jamie to raise his stock in mixed martial arts. If you look at the man's skills, he's clearly talented with the technique, the rare physical gifts and the ability to take a good punch. Mixed martial arts although different in many respects, would allow Jamie to put those skills in the limelight once again. He'd already shown adaptability learning the submission game for his last bout, would he succeed in the upcoming battle. Unfortunately what followed was pretty anti-climatic, despite Jamie getting the better of the early exchanges. Bizarrely he went down with an injury to what looked like his Achilles heel. Grant Waterman the referee, thinking of fighter safety first, checked what the problem was. Now you have to think, in a top level MMA match, there probably wouldn't have been a stoppage to check what the problem was, yet I think UCMMA knew they had quite a talent with Jamie; so wanted to keep him 'sweet.'
Another break occurred in the action, which then prompted Manuwa to swarm on his opponent once the action had resumed. Jimi dropped down for a choke from the guard, and Grant Waterman intervened before Hearn went unconscious, clearly hurt from the ongoing injury. Although Hearn wasn't successful, I think his talent is clear from the company he's mixing with in both boxing and mma.
Top of the Mountain
Again though, Hearn was yet to find consistent form, going 1-3 in his next four fights until a 'bite' got him into the middleweight grand prix final of UCMMA. Hearn finished the very capable Dubai fighter Tam Khan in devastating fashion, knocking him unconscious in 1 minute 40 seconds of the very first round. This won him the Middleweight Grand Prix but again he went up and down the ladder of success losing his next fight to Ben Smith and going 2-1 before a very controversial ending against Mohammed Ali.
The video is available on Youtube and I'm hoping it's not what ended Jamie's mma career; but the 'Real Deal' is fighting on what appears to be a low budget show. Ali and Hearn size each other up before the bout commences and there appears to be a fair bit of animosity between the pair. When the bout begins, Hearn appears to be getting the better of Ali, who he has in full mount and is letting punches fly. The two get into a close grappling position and then suddenly the referee pulls them apart and waves off the fight. What ensues is really bad for mixed martial arts, as the two fighters entourages seem to start fighting in the ring. Things get worse as the cage is cleared only for riots to start happening in the crowd and chairs being thrown. It was later confirmed that Hearn was disqualified for biting his opponent. I was a bit disappointed as he seemed to be winning the fight anyway but it's hard to know what is being said and by who. Hearn went back to boxing after this bout, with a devastating first round knockout at cruiserweight of Larry Olubamiwo. This earned him a shot at the Southern Area cruiserweight title which unfortunately he lost to Lawrence Bennett. Hearn hasn't fought since and some how ended up on the Jeremy Kyle show in 2016. It's easy to judge from the outside looking in but I have to ask why he would go on at all?
Jamie being referred to as 'James' by his girlfriend doesn't make the best first impression. Referring to Kayleigh as 'that' and saying for Jeremy to put up with her. He then goes on to brag about his sexual escapades, stating women call him 'The Wang.' He then proceeds to hit on a female audience member; Jeremy Kyle puts the mic to her to hear if she was attracted to 'The Wang.'
She states no, but we cannot confirm nor deny whether she made eyes at the former fighter. This all makes for awkward watching and it's hard not to ask yourself why this renowned fighter would put himself up for such negative attention. It's then revealed that he is currently sleeping on his friend's floor who is in the audience. His friend who does look like a fighter himself reveals the two have an acid relationship but that Jamie repeatedly cheats on Kayleigh who takes him back constantly.
In this exchange, it's revealed that Ross sometimes watches Hearn sleep with other women while in the cupboard. I'm hoping this is a joke for Ross' sake. As the interview goes on, it's revealed Jamie has slept with prostitutes, done pornography, and slept with over 200 women. While men might be cheering him on, he's just admitted this on national British television. Jeremy Kyle is like the British equivalent of a Dr Phil but rather the guests have social problems rather than medical. They often do a lie detector test to see if the accused party is guilty of an accusation. Hearn had slept and had sex with multiple women throughout his relationship with Kayleigh. It truly was car crash television. As the viewer, you questioned why the fighter would put himself up for such judgement. On here the verdict of the lie detector test, his poor girlfriend tried to attack him. The security men had to restrain her, and one can only sympathise with her plight as she was literally in tears. Jeremy Kyle didn't do his best bit of television sympathy either, but I think he was trying to use reverse psychology so the smitten girl wouldn't go back to Hearn. Jamie was ridiculed by Kyle who made sure the viewers got a good look at his face. While he was booed off stage, Hearn got one more comment in about 'The Wang' to Jeremy Kyle. It was just so awkward. Why did this once great fighter want to sell himself as a male slag on national television? The same guy who had mixed blows with the likes of Jimi Manuwa and Chad Dawson. Did he think he would get more women pulling off such a feat? Or did he merely crave attention on the back of his combat careers coming to an end?
Again, only Jamie knows, but I just hope he hasn't thrown away a career that so many men wish they could do but can't.