Jail sentence marks a spectacular fall from grace for former world champion Herbie Hide

Herbie Hide was once a world champion boxer. Tonight, he is behind bars.
Herbie Hide was once a world champion boxer. Tonight, he is behind bars. Photo: PA

A former boxing world champion from Norfolk is starting a 22-month jail sentence tonight after being caught selling drugs to an undercover reporter.

Herbie Hide, from Bawburgh near Norwich, reached the pinnacle of his sport, twice winning the WBO world heavyweight title.

Herbie Hide celebrates victory over Aleksejs Kosobokovs.
Herbie Hide celebrates victory over Aleksejs Kosobokovs. Credit: PA

However, this afternoon his fall from grace was complete as he was sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court.

His former mentor Les King said it was a sad day, but he remembers Hide's talent.

Hide's former mentor Les King knew that the boxer would go far.
Hide's former mentor Les King knew that the boxer would go far. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"When I first saw him (Herbie Hide), he was the nearest person to Muhammad Ali.

"He was absolutely brilliant.

"I remember he said to me, "do you want to sponsor me, because you know I'm good?"

"He said he was going to be world champion and he was right."

– Les King, Former Boxer and Promoter

Hide had previously admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine, after he was secretly filmed by a national newspaper.

In court, the boxer was described as both "shy" and "vulnerable" as well as a Jekyll and Hide character.

Now, he must face up to spending the next stage of his life fighting a very different kind of battle.

Read more: Herbie Hide handed 22-month sentence