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WORLD

Boxing star Hamed jailed for crash

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Naseem Hamed arrives at Sheffield Crown Court for sentencing Friday.

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Naseem Hamed
Boxing
Great Britain

SHEFFIELD, England -- British former world featherweight boxing champion Naseem Hamed has been jailed for 15 months for dangerous driving that caused an horrific accident that left another motorist seriously injured.

Hamed's Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren sports car collided head on with two other vehicles on a road in Sheffield, northern England, near the boxer's home last May.

The 32-year-old, who boxed as "Prince Naseem," was unharmed but the driver of one of the other cars broke numerous bones and was forced to undergo several operations, media reports said.

Hamed pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at Sheffield Crown Court last month. He was also banned from driving for four years on Friday.

The ex-boxer was involved in the crash while overtaking in his £300,000 ($455,000) car on the edge of the Peak District, in May 2005.

The court heard how Hamed was anxious to impress a businessman, who was a passenger in the Mercedes McLaren, which has a top speed of 334 km/h (208mph), at the time of the crash.

Both had an interest in cars and Hamed was showing what his could do when, traveling on the wrong side of the road at a speed of at least 145 km/h, he crashed head-on into a Volkswagen Golf that emerged from a dip in the road.

The Golf was propelled backwards by the impact of the collision. Hamed's car then hit a second vehicle, a Ford Mondeo he had been trying to overtake.

The court heard the driver of the Mondeo, Michael Wood, described Hamed's overtaking maneuver as "stupid, suicide, ridiculous."

Hamed showed no emotion as he was jailed. Members of his family broke down in tears as the judge jailed the former world champion.

Hamed, who also held World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation versions of the featherweight belt, was famed for his flamboyant entrances to the ring, and for his speed and power inside it.

But he lost to Marco Antonio Barrera in Las Vegas in 2001, his first defeat in 37 fights. He last fought in May 2002 when he was booed out of the ring after a contentious decision over Spain's Manuel Calvo in London.

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