Tag Archives: featherweight

Ricky Burns to face Mexican Miguel Vazquez in world title unification match in March

Burns eyes Wembley glory! Champion set for world title unification fight with Vazquez

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

11:25 GMT, 14 January 2013

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UPDATED:

00:07 GMT, 15 January 2013

Ricky Burns will take on Mexican Miguel Vazquez in a mouthwatering lightweight world title unification clash at Wembley Arena on March 16.

The Scotsman has been out of action since brutally knocking out British rival Kevin Mitchell in Glasgow last September and turned down the chance to face American superstar and WBC champion Adrien Broner in Atlantic City next month.

But Burns, 29, will instead bid to add Vazquez's IBF belt to his own WBO strap in what will be the toughest fight of his career to date.

Fully focused: Ricky Burns will return to the ring in March against Miguel Vazquez

Fully focused: Ricky Burns will return to the ring in March against Miguel Vazquez

'The last time I boxed down at Wembley against Michael Katsidis, the crowd were excellent,' Burns said. 'I'm really looking forward to it.

'This is a dream come true for me. Any boxer would be happy winning two world titles at two weights and retire, but for me I want to continue winning more world titles, unifying them and stepping up the weight divisions. Vazquez is a top fighter and one that I’ve been after a long time so I’m over the moon that it’s happening.'

Burns also denied he was avoiding American superstar Adrien Broner after turning down the chance to fight the unbeaten 23-year-old in Atlantic City.

'Anybody that knows me, knows I'm a fighter,' he added. 'I want to fight the best. i didn't feel seven weeks was enough time to prepare [for Broner], I need 12 weeks.'

Having won the WBO
super-featherweight title with a shock victory over Roman Martinez in
2010, Burns became a two-weight world champion the following year, first
winning the interim WBO lightweight belt against Michael Katsidis
before being awarded the strap outright when Juan Manuel Marquez
relinquished the title.

Fight club: A Queen Elizabeth look-alike poses with Nathan Cleverly, George Groves, Dereck Chisora and Burns

Fight club: A Queen Elizabeth look-alike poses with Nathan Cleverly, George Groves, Dereck Chisora and Burns

Burns made a successful first defence
against Ghanian Paulus Moses last March before his stunning
fourth-round victory over Mitchell in front of 10,000 passionate home
fans.

He was due to face Liam Walsh at the
ExCeL Arena in London in December but his opponent pulled out after a
car accident. His replacement, Jose Ocampo, then withdrew just days
before the fight after his trainer died.

Vazquez, meanwhile, has lost three of
his 36 fights but only to the highest calibre of opponent. He suffered
defeat on his debut by compatriot Saul Alvarez in 2006 and was also
beaten in a rematch two years later.

Title showdown: Burns celebrates his victory over Kevin Mitchell in September

Title showdown: Burns celebrates his victory over Kevin Mitchell in September

Sandwiched in between came a unanimous
defeat by Timothy Bradley, who has gone on to become a two-weight world
champion with a controversial victory over Manny Pacquiao last year.

Also on the Wembley card will be
Nathan Cleverly's mandatory defence of his WBO light-heavyweight title
against Robin Krasniqi, George Groves' European super-middleweight clash
with Mohamed Ali Ndiaye and Dereck Chisora's return to the ring,
assuming he is granted a licence by the British Boxing Board of Control.

Ricky Burns to defend world title against Liam Walsh in London

Burns to defend world title against unbeaten Walsh in London

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UPDATED:

12:28 GMT, 23 October 2012

Ricky Burns faces another world title
challenge from an Englishman after European lightweight champion Liam
Walsh was named as his next opponent – with a unification fight against
Adrien Broner on offer for the winner.

Scotland's WBO lightweight champion,
who was on top form as he stopped Kevin Mitchell in four rounds last
month, will face the unbeaten Walsh at London's Excel on December 15.

Unbeaten: Ricky Burns

Top man: WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns

Promoter Frank Warren has lined up a glamour contest against unbeaten American WBC champion Broner for whoever comes out on top.

Walsh stepped up to lightweight in July when he stopped Domenico Urbano in the eighth round at Upton Park to claim the European belt.

The 26-year-old has stopped his opponent in 10 of 13 professional fights, including his memorable Commonwealth super-featherweight title win over Scot Paul Appleby, who was pulled out ahead of the 10th round.

Burns, who has won all seven of his world title fights over two weights, said: 'Walsh is a good strong fighter, he's unbeaten and this is his big chance to win the world title.

'I was ringside when he fought Appleby and he showed tremendous heart and strength to come through when he was deep in trouble.

'I'll be in the best shape possible and will leave nothing to chance for this one.'

The 29-year-old Coatbridge fighter added: 'The big motivator is a showdown with Broner, who I was accused of avoiding last year.

Impressive: Burns stopped Mitchell in four rounds

Impressive: Burns stopped Mitchell in four rounds

'Since moving up to lightweight and winning the world title my stock and profile has increased and now that it's a unification fight it's a much bigger fight than before.'

Walsh felt a date with Burns was his destiny and has already been preparing to cause an upset.

'To fight for the world title is my dream and I'm going to cause a big upset on December 15 at the Excel when I take the crown from Burns,' he said.

'It's always been on my mind that I would fight him one day and it's now here.

'He's a great champion, I've studied and watched him throughout his career and I know I've got the tools to beat him.

'He's looked great in the last few years and he did a stunning job on Mitchell.

'He's in the prime of his career now so when I beat him people will know that I've beaten the best.'

The bill also features Commonwealth super-middleweight champion George Groves against Glen Johnson and Billy Joe Saunders defending his Commonwealth middleweight title against Nick Blackwell.

Orlando Cruz: Gay boxer wins first fight since coming out

Openly gay boxer Cruz wins first fight since revealing sexuality

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UPDATED:

09:31 GMT, 20 October 2012

Orlando Cruz has won his first fight since publicly declaring his homosexuality after he beat Jorge Pazos to retain his light featherweight title in a unanimous decision.

The Puerto Rican featherweight (19-2-1, nine KOs) looked confident and at ease, but Pazos (20-4, 13 KOs) held his own much of the match.

The judges scored it 118-110, 116-111, 118-110 for Cruz, who celebrated the victory in front of a cheering crowd at the Kissimmee Civic Center outside of Orlando.

Unanaimous: Cruz won his first bout since revealing his sexuality

Unanaimous: Cruz won his first bout since revealing his sexuality

Cruz has been surrounded by attention since he came out earlier this month, doing dozens of interviews while receiving praise and support from all corners of sports and society.

'That was my moment, my opportunity, my event,' Cruz said Friday night after the bout, his mother, Dominga Torres-Rivera, seated beside him. 'And I won.'

Cruz was touched by the support on display at the Kissimmee Civic Center outside Orlando, the latest in a continual outpouring since his announcement two weeks ago that made him the first active male athlete in a major sport to come out.

'I was very happy that they respect me. That’s what I want — them to see me as a boxer, as an athlete and as a man in every sense of the word,' he said.

Hard fought: Cruz had his work cut out to retain his title against Pazos

Hard fought: Cruz had his work cut out to retain his title against Pazos

Hard fought: Cruz had his work cut out to retain his title against Pazos

Cruz’s declaration has garnered plenty of attention and interview requests for the WBO’s fourth-ranked featherweight, as well as public support from everyone from former Olympic teammate Miguel Cotto to singer Ricky Martin.

'With all that’s been going through my life the past two weeks, I have no excuses,' Cruz said. 'It did affect me, going here, going there. It did affect me.'

Although the Mexican Pazos held his own for much of the fight, it was Cruz standing on the ropes playing to the adoring crowd moments later with a 118-110, 116-111, 118-110 decision.

'He's a boxer who moves too much, he knows how to box and he has good legs,' Pazos said. 'I couldn’t get him.'

Cruz is hoping this victory will get him a shot at a bigger match in the near future.

All smiles: Cruz soaks up the applause after successfully completing the defence of his title

All smiles: Cruz soaks up the applause after successfully completing the defence of his title

All smiles: Cruz soaks up the applause after successfully completing the defence of his title

'This fight’s going to open my door for a world title fight,' Cruz said. 'That’s my dream, my mom’s dream, my community’s dream and my team's.'

And Cruz seems to be more at ease with his new position as a gay role model, no longer hiding who he is in one of the world’s most macho sports.

'I'm only one person,' Cruz said. 'I feel happy with where I am. I’m free. I’m more at peace.'

Orlando Cruz set for Jorge Pazos fight just days after revealing he is gay

Cruz set for first bout after revealing himself as boxing's first openly gay fighter

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UPDATED:

08:57 GMT, 19 October 2012

In what could bring him one step closer to becoming a world boxing champion, Orlando Cruz prepares to face opponent Jorge Pazos on Friday just days after announcing that he was gay, the first active fighter in the macho sport openly to discuss his sexual orientation.

Cruz, 31, a featherweight currently ranked fourth by the World Boxing Organization (WBO), likes to mix his training session with bit of salsa dancing as he prepares for his fight in Kissimmee, Florida on October 19.

Cruz (18-4, 9KOs), was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, a Caribbean island usually unfriendly to the idea of homosexuality. He said it had been a difficult and long journey to reach the decision to finally come out.

Brave move: Orlando Cruz is the first active boxer to reveal he is gay

Brave move: Orlando Cruz is the first active boxer to reveal he is gay

'It's been a long time since I've been dealing with this – twelve years,' the charismatic boxer said.

'I moved to New York four years ago where I underwent psychological therapy with professionals to mentally and physically prepare for this step, so important in my life, and I'm very happy.'

Once seen as one of the last bastions of homophobia, athletes from a whole of range of sports have announced in recent years they were gay, but no active boxers have come out, until Cruz.

He said he had been stunned by the amount of support he has received from other professional fighters after initially being filled with anxiety about how people would react.

But an intense desire to live an authentic life compelled him to make the announcement.

'The only thing I want is to be respected. I'm an athlete,' he said, exuding confidence moments after his workout to popular salsa tunes.

Pulls no punches: Puerto Rican featherweight Cruz training in San Juan

Pulls no punches: Puerto Rican featherweight Cruz training in San Juan

'I'm a professional and my personal life should not matter to anyone.'

Cruz said he began boxing at the age of seven after being captivated by the way Muhammad Ali moved in the ring.

'Muhammad Ali and I, we're very similar. We have the same motion in the ring,' said Cruz. 'We have the same move, the same show. “This is my ring! It's my show! It's my time!” That's Muhammad Ali. I love him!'

Domiga Torres Rivera, Cruz's mother, recalled the moment, several years ago, when her son held her hands tight and said 'Mom we need to talk' and had difficulty uttering the words: 'I'm gay.'

'For a mother, it's very tough to hear that,' she said. 'But it's your own blood and there's no question that you will love them and support them, not shun them. We can't force our children to be who they're not.'

Big night: Cruz takes on Mexican Jorge Pazos in Florida on Friday night

Big night: Cruz takes on Mexican Jorge Pazos in Florida on Friday night

Cruz said he was now ready to move on with his life and focus on the road to the world title. He was ambitious and determined to make it to the top and said his next bout was a key step in that direction.

'I will do it with ease. I respect my opponent, but he is just a stepping stone to me. I cannot wait to hear the sound of that bell,' said Cruz wiping the sweat off his forehead with his glove and shuffling his feet to salsa during a workout break at his training facility in Kissimmee.

Mexican fighter Jorge Pazos, (20-4, 13 KO) said he was more focused on his opponent's fighting style than his sexual orientation.

'I don't care because that's something personal,' said Pazos. 'I know he's a great boxer in the ring so that's what I'm focused on.'

Ricky Burns impressive against Kevin Mitchell

Belting night for red-hot Burns as Scot produces fireworks against Mitchell

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UPDATED:

22:25 GMT, 23 September 2012

In the wee dark hours after Kevin Mitchell congratulated Ricky Burns on belting the living daylights out of him some of their respective fans laid into each other at a hotel near the arena.

They do love a good fight in Glasgow but no brawl in a bar could possibly match the class with which Burns clobbered Mitchell on Saturday night.

This was the opportunity for Burns to claim a place in the pantheon of Scotland’s all-time boxing greats. So spectacularly did he seize the moment that he also stands now in the front rank of current world champions.

Friends: Ricky Burns is congratulated by his defeated opponent Kevin Mitchell.

Friends: Ricky Burns is congratulated by his defeated opponent Kevin Mitchell.

A fight for the WBO lightweight title which everyone, including the two friends in the ring, expected to be desperately close turned out to be just desperate for the challenger from East London.

Mitchell had the misfortune to bump into his old mate on the night when Burns made the step up from very good to great. He has also grown physically.

Burns, who won the first of his two world titles at super-featherweight, now looks big at lightweight. The extra bulk has brought with it the enhanced punching power which came as such a nasty surprise to Mitchell.

Bigger, faster, stronger: Scotsman Burns (right) dominated Mitchell in Glasgow

Bigger, faster, stronger: Scotsman Burns (right) dominated Mitchell in Glasgow

Burns was supposed to be the craftsman
and Mitchell the slugger in this clash of styles but the Scot relished
the toe-to-toe exchanges and proved to be the harder hitter.

A modest man, Burns still talks of having much to learn but he is nearer to being the complete box-fighter than he seems to realise.

The only question remaining to be asked after this blistering four-round stoppage of the most dangerous opponent he has faced is how long he will stay at lightweight.

There is money to be made from an all-Scottish clash with Scott Harrison but on this most recent evidence that fight would be over even quicker.

All over: The referee steps in

All over: The referee steps in

Harrison, in his second fight of a comeback after a near-seven year absence, looked nothing like the two-time world champion of yore as he toiled to a points win on the under-card.

Burns harbours a real boxing lover’s ambition to add the historic Ring magazine belt to his collection. But the sooner he unifies some of the titles at lightweight, the sooner he can move up to the big money fights at light-welter.

With dynamite now in both fists he will be a danger to anyone. Having shaken Mitchell with big rights while dominating the first three rounds, he floored him with a left in the fourth.

Mitchell got up only to be decked by a wicked right and although his courage enabled him to rise again he had no answer to the ensuing barrage and no argument with the stoppage.

‘My pal was awesome,’ said Mitchell as they left to go their separate ways, him back to the drawing board and an uncertain future, Burns to Las Vegas and the stars.

Carl Frampton beats Steve Molitor to defend Commonwealth super bantamweight title

Frampton stops two-time world champion Molitor inside six rounds to defend title

By
Sportsmail Reporter

PUBLISHED:

23:09 GMT, 22 September 2012

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UPDATED:

23:11 GMT, 22 September 2012

Carl Frampton successfully defended his Commonwealth super bantamweight title with a sixth-round stoppage of experienced Canadian Steve Molitor at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast.

In front of a home crowd Frampton never looked in trouble as he dominated his opponent, putting him down three times on his way to a 15th successive professional win.

Frampton was always able to stay ahead on points, never giving Molitor time and eventually his better work-rate wore his opponent down.

To the victor, the spoils: Carl Frampton (left) walks away after flooring Steve Molitor

To the victor, the spoils: Carl Frampton (left) walks away after flooring Steve Molitor

A flurry of punches in the sixth round forced the Canadian to his knees and it was clear he did not want to continue.

Molitor made it back to his feet but, with two minutes 21 seconds of the round gone, the referee called the contest off.

Frampton put his victory down to his preparation.

He said on Sky Sports 1: 'I think it's just all down to hard work. I really pushed myself hard in training.

Roar power: Frampton was ecstatic after his victory

Roar power: Frampton was ecstatic after his victory

'I know I can hit hard – I've just got to land the shots. I didn't think he liked the pace that much – that's why I pushed so hard. I made him miss quite a lot (of punches).

'I was just on him the whole time – that was it really.'

Frampton praised the crowd and promised them he planned to have more fights on home soil.

'I want as many fights here in Belfast as possible,' he said. 'The crowd was amazing. I'm not far from a world title. I will fight anyone.'

Fearless: After the defence of his title, Frampton says he'll fight anyone

Fearless: After the defence of his title, Frampton says he'll fight anyone

Fearless: After the defence of his title, Frampton says he'll fight anyone

Frampton's manager Barry McGuigan, the former world featherweight champion, pointed to the quality of Molitor.

'Steve Molitor is not a world champion two times over for no reason,” he said.

'He (Frampton) just ground him down and eventually he nailed him. This guy is a fabulous young fighter. We intend to map it out and work towards a world title fight.'

By
Sportsmail Reporter

Kevin Mitchell and Ricky Burns weigh in

Mitchell and Burns weigh in as Dagenham Destroyer plots to grab title from Scot

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UPDATED:

15:02 GMT, 21 September 2012

Ricky Burns and Kevin Mitchell both weighed-in spot on the 135lb limit ahead of their lightweight showdown on Saturday.

The pair clash at Glasgow's SECC in a highly-anticipated 'Battle of Britain' with Burns looking to make a second successful defence of his WBO title.

Mitchell meanwhile is relishing the prospect of fighting Burns in front of the world champion's home crowd.

Calm before the storm: Ricky Burns (right) and Kevin Mitchell weigh in ahead of their fight

Calm before the storm: Ricky Burns (right) and Kevin Mitchell weigh in ahead of their fight

Calm before the storm: Ricky Burns (right) and Kevin Mitchell weigh in ahead of their fight

'I'll love it,' the Essex fighter said. “Once the fight has happened and I'm in there fighting and I've won, the crowd will respect me for being a fighter.

'I've been in big fights before, (Breidis) Prescott and (John) Murray, Katsidis when I wasn't on form.
'I was in front of 20,000 fans when I fought Carl Johanneson at the O2 when I was 22 or 23.

'I've been in big, big fights, but this is the biggest. This is everything. I've prepared well and I have no worries.'

Mitchell, whose only defeat came against Katsidis at Upton Park, added: “I've always been happy to go in with anyone. Chuck me in with any big name, when I'm fit I'll be confident. That's the way I am.

On the money: Burns makes the second defence of his WBO world title

On the money: Burns makes the second defence of his WBO world title

'I've been fighting since I was a 10-year-old and it doesn't really bother me who I fight, where I fight.

'When I'm fit and prepared for something, I have no worries.'

Burns is looking for his seventh win in a world title fight having previously held the WBO super-featherweight belt, which he relinquished to take on and beat Katsidis.

Mitchell admitted he did not prepare properly for his own title fight with the Australian, who took him out in three rounds, but he has not looked on with envy as his friend Burns' career went from strength to strength.

Covering up: Mitchell is believed to be in the shape of his life ahead of Saturday's fight

Covering up: Mitchell is believed to be in the shape of his life ahead of Saturday's fight

'I believe there are patterns in life and things happen for certain reasons,' the 27-year-old said.

'Ricky has done very well and come through his career very well. I believe this is my chance and I want to take this one.'

The pair showed little sign of friendship when they squared up at the weigh-in but they had greeted each other warmly and spoken at length at the previous day's head-to-head press conference.

'We are friends but we get in there and fight, it's a job,' Mitchell said.

'After, we'll have a kiss and a cuddle and have a beer together, it's only a job.'

LONDON OLYMPICS 2012: Jade Jones reaches taekwondo quarter-finals

Easy does it as Jones cruises into taekwondo quarter-finals

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UPDATED:

10:28 GMT, 9 August 2012

British taekwondo fighter Jade Jones cruised into the quarter-finals of the women's under-57kgs with a 15-1 victory over Serbian Dragana Gladovic at ExCeL.

South Arena 1 was in full voice as the 19-year-old from Flintshire walked out to a sea of Union Flags.

Jones, like all home nation taekwondo fighters seeded fourth, immediately went on the offensive, scoring with a kick to the body, however it was even at 1-1 after the opening two minute round.

Going through: Jade Jones fighting Serbia's Dragana Gladovic on Thursday

Going through: Jade Jones fighting Serbia's Dragana Gladovic on Thursday

The Wales fighter opened up a healthy 7-1 lead at the start of round two following a flurry of kicks, including one to the head.

Jones – Youth Olympic champion two years ago and world silver medallist in 2011 – scored another big head shot to lead by 10 heading into the final 60 seconds, before ending the contest early with a 14-point margin as she landed again.

The Briton will take on Mayu Hamada of Japan in the last eight this afternoon, after she edged past Croatian fifth seed Ana Zaninovic, who had a head kick score at the buzzer correctly wiped off on video review for holding.

Next up for Team GB is Liverpool's Martin Stamper in the under-68kgs against Erick Osornio Nunez of Mexico.

Stamper, who missed out on a place at the Beijing Olympics, won featherweight bronze at the 2011 World Championships in Korea.
There was little to choose between the fighters after a scoreless first round.

Under pressure: Mexico's Erick Osornio Nunez (left) and Britain's Martin Stamper (right)

Under pressure: Mexico's Erick Osornio Nunez (left) and Britain's Martin Stamper (right)

Stamper picked up a warning for moving off the mat as the contest continued to sit on a knife-edge with no kicks or punches from either man registering.

With a minute left, Stamper finally hit the target – and moved 4-0 up after a head kick made minimal contact. The score was immediately challenged by the Mexican corner, but the appeal was rejected on video review.

Osornio Nunez closed the gap after another warning for Stamper, but a body shot by the Liverpudlian saw him close out the contest 5-2 as both Team GB fighters moved into the afternoon's session.

Johnny Tapia is dead

Boxing in mourning as former three-weight world champion Tapia is found dead

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UPDATED:

09:43 GMT, 28 May 2012

Former three-weight world boxing champion Johnny Tapia has died at the age of 45.

Tapia's body was found in his Albuquerque, New Mexico, home on Sunday night and police spokesperson Robert Gibbs said there did not appear to be any suspicious circumstances.

My crazy life: Former world champion Johnny Tapia (left) has died

My crazy life: Former world champion Johnny Tapia (left) has died

Although a highly successful boxer, Tapia's life outside the ring was highly tumultuous – plagued by drug use, depression and brushes with the law.

His mother was murdered when he was eight, and his father was reportedly killed before the boxer was born.

No 1: Johnny Tapia

No 1: Johnny Tapia

He had the Spanish phrase 'mi vida loca' (my crazy life) tattooed on his stomach and went after his opponents in an all-action style.

Tapia turned professional in 1988 and after going unbeaten in his first 48 fights – claiming the WBO and IBF super flyweight titles plus the WBA bantamweight crown in the process – he was eventually defeated by Paulie Ayala in June 1999.

He won the IBF featherweight title in April 2002 with a majority decision victory over Manuel Medina but dropped a decision to Marco Antonio Barrera six months later and from there his career went slowly downhill.

His last fight came in June 2011 when he scored an eight-round decision over Mauricio Pastrana in his home town of Albuquerque, leaving him with a career record of 59 wins, five losses and two draws.

Terry Spinks dies: Youngest British boxing Olympic gold medallist passes away

Boxing mourns death of Spinks after Olympic legend loses battle with illness

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UPDATED:

09:10 GMT, 27 April 2012

Terry Spinks, the youngest Briton to win an Olympic boxing gold medal, has died at his home in Essex following a long illness. He was 74.

Spinks won flyweight gold at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics aged just 18, beating Romania's Mircea Dobrescu in the final.

Legend: Terry Spinks, who won Olympic gold for Great Britain in 1956, has passed away aged 74

Legend: Terry Spinks, who won Olympic gold for Great Britain in 1956, has passed away aged 74

As a professional, the east Londoner won 41 of his 49 fights, including winning the British featherweight championship, before retiring at the age of 24.

British Boxing Board of Control general secretary Robert Smith said: 'We are very sad Terry has passed away. He was a great boxer and a very nice guy.

Great Briton: Spinks shows his gold medal after he defeated Romanian Mircea Dobrescu in Melbourne

Great Briton: Spinks shows his gold medal after he defeated Romanian Mircea Dobrescu in Melbourne

'He was an Olympic gold medallist at 18, which is very young, certainly when he was fighting boxers from Russia and the Eastern bloc, men who were 25 or 26.

'He was also a very good professional boxer, but most importantly he was a nice person.'

Sorrow: The flyweight hero, who was awarded an MBE, sadly lost his long battle against illness

Sorrow: The flyweight hero, who was awarded an MBE, sadly lost his long battle against illness

After hanging up his gloves, Spinks became a successful trainer, including coaching the South Korean boxing team at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.

In 2002, Spinks was awarded an MBE for services to boxing and charity work.