Muggers aren’t very clever people at the best of times, but when they try to mug a kickboxing world champion, who’s wearing a t-shirt which says ‘5x World Champion’, it really makes you wonder.
But that’s sadly what happened to 68-year-old, five-time kickboxing world champion Steve Shepherd, in West Palm Beach, Florida, last month.
Perhaps it was because Steve was walking with a limp, after pulling a muscle, that the mugger thought it was a good idea to attack the man and demand his phone from him.
After being hit from behind with a bottle, Steve fell to the ground. However, getting back up, he swiftly delivered some instant karma to the mugger, in the form of a few broken ribs.
Speaking to CBS12, Steve said:
He hit me from behind in the eye. It was all bloody, much worse than this. And it buckled my knees.
‘Give me your effing phone. Give me your effing phone.’ He said that three or four times, he was very upset.
Instinct seemed to take over though, and Steve started throwing punches back at his attacker.
I’m sure I broke his ribs. I could hear it almost. I hit him with what’s called a right cross as he was still coming at me.
What he learned was he picked on the wrong guy. I kind of feel sorry for him. I was the world champion in five weight divisions. My claim to fame is I beat the guy who knocked out Mike Tyson.
Sean Seager, who witnessed the incident, said:
Like, out of everybody you choose, you choose a world-champion kickboxer…When I came outside, Steve had him on the car.
Unfortunately, during the fight between the two men, the mugger managed to get away. Police however, responded to the scene and are currently investigating the incident.
Steve suffered a ruptured ear drum, as well as cuts and bruising around his left eye. He seems to be recovering well as he’s currently training to return to the ring as the oldest professional fighter.
Since his last professional fight, when he was 50-years-old, Steve opened the KickBox-SuperFIT gym, in West Palm Beach, with his brother Ed.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.