A MACHETE was used in the attack on champion boxer Henry Wharton, that left him seriously injured in hospital, The Press understands.

Police said yesterday that the 44-year-old former middleweight champion was lucky to be alive following the attack in Murton Lane, York, on Saturday.

Officers have now arrested three more people over the attack, which left Mr Wharton with serious back, head and ankle injuries. Sources have told The Press that he also received gash wounds to his upper body, from a machete. North Yorkshire Police did not confirm this, but said it was part of their inquiries.

Police said yesterday that a 26-year-old woman and a 44-year-old man, both from York, had been arrested in the Blackpool area, and remain in police custody for questioning.

A a 23-year-old local man was also arrested in York yesterday afternoon.

Mr Wharton was struck by a car after he reportedly tried to intervene in a pre-arranged bare-knuckle fight between members of the travelling community in Murton Lane on Saturday.

A 35-year-old man was arrested in the Wigginton Road area at about 7.30pm that day and released on bail as inquires continue.

Former world-title challenger Wharton is still in a serious condition in hospital, receiving treatment for several broken vertebrae and a shattered ankle, The Press understands.

Detective Chief Inspector Nigel Costello, of North Yorkshire Police, said he still wanted more witnesses, despite the four arrests so far.

He said: “A man is in hospital with serious injuries and he is lucky to be alive.

“If you have any information about what happened to him and how he sustained his injuries, I urge you to contact the police or Crimestoppers with information.

“It doesn’t matter how small you may think the information you have is. It could be absolutely vital to the investigation and it is important that you come forward as soon as possible.”

Contaact York CID on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.