AMATEUR boxer Harry Beattie says he has been forced to give up contact sport amid fears another traumatic injury may leave him paralysed.

“It has left a large hole in my life,” he told police in an impact statement.

He suffered a fractured skull after being floored with an uppercut outside a Southampton nightclub.

The city crown court heard the electrician, a keen sportsman, was off work for 16 weeks and lost more than £5,000 in wages.

Prosecutor Gavin Sumpter outlined how Jim Thomas had been chatting to two girls when Mr Beattie came over and greeted one he knew.

Thomas became “defensive” and took exception to him being there, asking Mr Beattie: “What are you looking at?”

According to a witness, the pair then began egging each other on about a fight before Thomas punched Mr Beattie on the jaw.

The boxer, who was knocked unconscious, was taken to hospital by ambulance where he was diagnosed with a fractured skull.

Thomas, 25, of Reeves Way, Lowford, admitted causing grievous bodily harm and was jailed for 12 months.

The court heard he had four previous convictions including one for a similar offence when he broke a friend’s jaw.

In mitigation, Neil Fitzgibbon told the court Thomas “had not been looking for trouble”. “Mr Beattie approached him. He felt he had encroached into his personal space and appeared threatening. The defendant walked off but didn’t expect him to follow. It wasn’t his intention to fight him.

“It was one single blow and he didn’t expect him to fall as he did.

“The injury was not anticipated and not intended and he is deeply apologetic.”

Passing sentence, Judge Peter Henry accepted he had shown remorse and had taken steps to control his anger through counselling.