“Please help me”– A Tormented Mike Webster
Former world lightweight champion Paul Spadafora was arrested Wednesday night after being accused of stabbing his brother and assaulting his mother during a domestic argument in Pittsburgh. Police used pepper spray, stun guns and a spit mask to subdue the boxer known as “The Pittsburgh Kid.”
Spaddy, who looks more like Max Cady than Robert DeNiro, was always a slick, defensive-minded fighter, and took relatively few heavy punches in a boxing career that ended with a remarkable 49-1-1 mark–his only defeat being a decision loss late in his career. He also was a dominant IBF World lightweight champion. He now trains boxers at the Pittsburgh Boxing Club. However, his great ring accomplishments were diminished by a long run of serious outside-the-ring problems that are well documented in Wikipedia, See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Spadafora
In the latest incident, Police said Spadafora refused to listen to officers’ commands once inside the house and Spadafora “assumed a fighting stance.” “I want a fair fight,” Spadafora shouted, according to police. At one point he threatened officers, telling his mother, “Get all their names. I know they have to live in the city. I’m gonna kill them.” This chilling account in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette details what allegedly occurred: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2016/12/22/Boxer-Spadafora-charged-with-assaulting-brother-mother-Pittsburgh/stories/201612220150
Let the speculation begins
“The Kid” will be the subject of derision and morbid humor on many boxing forums. Some will point to “drug addiction” as his issue; others will cite self-loathing. And some might blame Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).which starts years before it ends–with paranoia, mood swings, and violence.
Keeping in mind the tragic story of Edwin Valero and unheeded warning signs, I am not about to be judgmental here or jump to conclusions.. As a minimum, however, an assessment of Paul’s brain health and brain function, including MRI scans, might reveal that the cause for his troubled behavior may be more insidious than suspected.
Ted Sares is one of the world’s oldest active power lifters and holds several records. He enjoys writing about boxing and is a member of Ring 4’s Boxing Hall of Fame.