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Thread: British Empire Boxers

  1. #211
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    Re: Dick Turpin vs Marcel Cerden...1949

    Quote Originally Posted by kikibalt

    Dick Turpin was a very clever Boxer, but the great Cerdan was a level above in my opinion.

  2. #212
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    Re: British Empire Boxers

    Brian London
    James Slater says the former British and Empire champ is fitter now than ever



    FORMER British heavyweight champion Brian London is well into his seventies, yet still trains.

    Indeed, Brian looks in good shape. With his swept-back hair, though it may be grey, the fighter who retired after losing to Joe Bugner in 1970 looks rugged and a touch formidable.


    Bugner aside, Brian met a veritable who’s who of heavyweights during a career that began in 1955, including Muhammad Ali, Henry Cooper, Floyd Patterson and Jerry Quarry. He remains sharp enough to talk about it.

    Brian speaks with a slow, steady voice. He is happy to reminisce on a career that saw him compile stats of 37-20-1 (26).

    “My father, Jack, was better than me,” Brian says of the man who was British heavyweight champion in 1944-45.

    “But he had terrible cauliflower ears. I asked him how I could avoid them. He told me to keep my hands up tight by the side of my head, so I did – look at my nose!”

    Brian points to his nose, one that quickly gives away his former profession.

    “I was never that keen on fighting,” he confesses. “But I went into the RAF and everyone found out I was Jack London’s son, so automatically I had to be a fighter. And I wasn’t a natural.”


    Brian had a good career, but admitted he did a lot of things wrong. “I was a nutter. I lost my temper and fought after the bell. My best punch was probably my head [laughs].”

    Brian was primarily referring to his 1960 European title fight with Dick Richardson, in which an all-out brawl ensued after the fight was stopped in Richardson’s favour on a cut in the eighth round. London went crazy, throwing punches everywhere, and the Board of Control fined him.

    Yet he enjoyed some good nights, too.

    “My win over Joe Erskine, when I won the British and Empire titles, is the performance I’m proudest of,” he says of his June 1958 eighth-round knockout.

    “I wouldn’t have won if I hadn’t stopped him. He was very clever, but couldn’t punch. He was our best heavyweight, even better than [Henry] Cooper.”

    Just shy of a year later, and after losing to Henry over 15 rounds, London met Patterson for the world title, losing in 11 rounds.

    “Patterson was the fastest heavyweight in history, even faster than Ali. Neither punched hard, but they were quick. He was a nice fella, Patterson. It’s a shame he died a couple of years back.”

    Brian’s 1966 world title challenge to Ali was not exactly glorious. Brian speaks from the heart about being knocked out in three rounds.

    “I never tried,” he admits. “I knew I couldn’t win and decided I wasn’t going to get hurt. That was a terrible fight. He was just too good. I decided not to get knocked to bits and I turned it in.”

    Despite this rare non-effort, Brian remains proud of the fact that he fought “the world’s best”. He’s fond of talking about his fights with Ingemar Johansson and Quarry.

    “I went the distance with Johansson,” he remembers. “It was close. I knocked him out, actually – in the last round. I was waiting for them to count, but the bell rang and he won [on points]. I thought I won my first fight with Quarry, too. [Brian lost a decision in 1967 and was stopped in 1969].”

    How does Brian spend his time today?

    “I used to live in West Hartlepool, but now live in a village called Brandon [County Durham]. I train daily. I weigh less now than when I was fighting. I get up at six in the morning, and run seven miles.”

    He was known for his fitness during his prime, so this isn’t surprising. Brian does even more working out, though.

    “I come back from my run and hit the heavy bag for an hour. Then I go back to bed [laughs]. I like doing these things, too [the Larry Holmes dinner]. Anything for charity

    – whatever people ask of me.”

    Brian remains a fight fan.

    “I watch on TV as much as possible,” he said. “The heavyweights aren’t too good today, mind. That fella, [Audley] Harrison, I thought he’d be champion after he’d won his [Olympic] medal. We fought more often back in the old days.”

    I tell Brian his era’s heavyweights were tougher than today’s big men in Britain.

    “Aye, we had a go, didn’t we?” he replied.

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    Re: British Empire Boxers


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    Re: British Empire Boxers


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    Re: British Empire Boxers


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