Sports

Alan Minter: British boxing legend dies at 69

Minter, who retired in 1981, won 39 and lost nine of his professional bouts

British boxing legend and former world champion Alan Minter has died at the age of 69 after suffering from cancer.

Minter, who won a bronze medal at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, claimed the undisputed world middleweight title against Italian Vito Antuofermo in Las Vegas in 1980.

After he won a rematch against Antuofermo, Minter lost the title to Marvin Hagler inside three rounds at Wembley Arena later that year.

He had his last fight in 1981.

He experienced tragedy during his career, when Italian Angelo Jacopucci died as a result of injuries sustained in their European title fight in 1978.

A tough time to be a champion – analysis

BBC Sport boxing reporter Luke Reddy

There was a point early in Minter’s professional career where he lost three fights in six months – all because of cuts.

The 1972 Olympic bronze medallist seemed to attract blood. After seeing a doctor about the ongoing issue he arrived at a conclusion – “don’t get hit in the first place”.

These days, few, if any of the belt-chasing Olympians who turn to the professional ranks would likely have much of a career left if they faced a similar string of defeats.

But Minter was a dogged man in a hard era. At the start of the 1970s, not one British boxer held a world title. They were tough to come by and even the British and European belts often only came along after one had paid their dues.

Minter twice won the European title on the road and would find himself coming to terms with the tragic death of one of his opponents.

That he overcame cuts, a ruthless era, tragedy and still won a world title is testament to the character he was.

“If you can walk away after winning and defending a world title, you’ve done something special,” he once told Boxing News.

In the way he did it and in the era he did it in, “special” feels like an understatement.




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