John Conteh

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John Conteh
Medal record
Men's Boxing
Competitor for  England
Commonwealth Games
Gold 1970 Edinburgh Middleweight

John Conteh (born 27 May 1951 in Kirkby, Lancashire, England) is a British former boxer who was world light-heavyweight boxing champion.

Conteh is one of Britain's most successful boxing champions. At his peak in the mid-to-late 1970s he was considered good enough that he was touted as a possible opponent of Muhammad Ali. He enjoyed great fame in Britain and was often on the front as well as the back pages of the leading dailies due to his love of partying and women. Conteh said that his excessive lifestyle brought about a premature decline in his talents. He started boxing at age 10 at the Kirkby club that was a training ground for some of the best amateur boxers, Joey Singleton, Tucker Hethering and Stuart Morton were only a few. At 19, he won the middleweight gold medal at the 1970 British Commonwealth Games. He won the WBC Light Heavyweight crown in October 1974 by defeating Jorge Ahumada and held the title until 1977 when he was stripped for not going through with a mandated defence.[1] He was the loser in a fifteen round split decision to the Yugoslavian fighter Mate Parlov in an attempt to regain the title.[2] He failed twice in further efforts to win back his old crown in 1979 and then again seven months later in 1980 - both against the American Matthew Saad Muhammad. Muhammad won both bouts but his first victory was declared void because his cornermen used an illegal substance on a cut.[3]

He retired from professional boxing in 1980. His professional record is 34 wins, 1 draw, and 4 losses.

In 1973, Conteh was one of the celebrities featured dressed in prison gear on the cover of the Wings album Band on the Run.

Conteh also has the distinction of being British Superstars competition champion in 1974, the second year of the televised sporting event. Conteh is now an after-dinner speaker and speaks at venues all across the country.

Conteh appeared on the BBC television programme Sporting Legends which was presented by Eamonn Holmes. On the show Conteh spoke at length at how he started out in the fight game and how Ali persuaded him to fight at Light-Heavyweight instead of Heavyweight as Ali believed that Conteh was too small to be a heavyweight, and how his lifestyle led to alcoholism and a charge of assault, he stated that at the time he appeared on Sporting Legends he had been dry for nine years. Conteh also made a starring appearance in the television show Boon in 1989, as a washed-up boxer. He more recently appeared on a boxing special of The Weakest Link in 2009, where he came in third place. His most recent TV acting appearance was in the crime drama "Justice", in which he again played an ex-boxer.

Professional boxing record[edit]

34 Wins (23 knockouts, 11 decisions), 4 Losses (1 knockout, 3 decisions), 1 Draw [1]
Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Win 12-14-1 United States James Dixon TKO 5 31 May 1980 England Liverpool, Merseyside, United Kingdom Referee stopped the bout at 2:49 of the fifth round.
Loss 24-3-2 United States Matthew Saad Muhammad TKO 4 29 Mar 1980 New Jersey Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States WBC World Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 2:27 of the fourth round.
Loss 23-3-2 United States Matthew Saad Muhammad UD 15 18 Aug 1979 New Jersey Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States WBC World Light Heavyweight Title. 142-146, 143-144, 141-146.
Win 19-6 United States Ivy Brown PTS 10 4 Jun 1979 England Liverpool, Merseyside, United Kingdom
Draw 18-8-1 United States Jesse Burnett PTS 10 19 Apr 1979 England Piccadilly, London, United Kingdom
Win 8-2 Dominican Republic Leonardo Rodgers KO 7 26 Sep 1978 England Wembley, London, United Kingdom Rodgers knocked out at 1:15 of the seventh round.
Loss 21-1-1 Croatia Mate Parlov SD 15 17 Jun 1978 Serbia Belgrade, Serbia WBC World Light Heavyweight Title.
Win 20-7-1 United States Joe Cokes PTS 10 7 Feb 1978 England Islington, London, United Kingdom 100-90.
Win 26-2-1 United States Len "Stinger" Hutchins TKO 3 5 Mar 1977 England Liverpool, Merseyside, United Kingdom WBC World Light Heavyweight Title.
Win 31-3 Mexico Yaqui Lopez UD 15 9 Oct 1976 Denmark Copenhagen, Denmark WBC World Light Heavyweight Title. 149-145, 149-145, 148-146.
Win 11-3-3 United States Willie "Bull" Taylor PTS 10 16 Aug 1975 Pennsylvania Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 24-2 United States Lonnie Bennett TKO 5 11 Mar 1975 England Wembley, London, United Kingdom WBC World Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 1:10 of the fifth round.
Win 41-5-2 Argentina Jorge Ahumada SD 15 1 Oct 1974 England Wembley, London, United Kingdom WBC World Light Heavyweight Title.
Win 26-5-1 United Kingdom Chris Finnegan TKO 6 21 May 1974 England Wembley, London, United Kingdom EBU/Commonwealth/BBBofC British Light Heavyweight Titles.
Win 74-5-1 Denmark Tom Bogs TKO 7 12 Mar 1974 England Wembley, London, United Kingdom EBU Light Heavyweight Title.
Win 17-2 United Kingdom Les "Is More" Stevens PTS 10 12 Feb 1974 England Kensington, London, United Kingdom
Win 37-15-1 United States Fred "Airman" Lewis TKO 3 14 Dec 1973 England Liverpool, Merseyside, United Kingdom
Win 33-7-2 The Bahamas Baby Boy Rolle PTS 15 23 Oct 1973 England Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom Commonwealth Light Heavyweight Title.
Win 39-11-1 Venezuela Vicente Rondon TKO 9 10 Sep 1973 England Wembley, London, United Kingdom
Win 25-4-1 United Kingdom Chris Finnegan PTS 15 22 May 1973 England Wembley, London, United Kingdom EBU/Commonwealth/BBBofC British Light Heavyweight Titles.
Win 29-3-3 Germany Rudiger Schmidtke TKO 12 13 Mar 1973 England Wembley, London, United Kingdom EBU Light Heavyweight Title.
Win 28-9-1 United States Terry "TX" Daniels KO 7 14 Feb 1973 Nevada Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 16-1-1 United States Dave "The Band" Matthews PTS 10 15 Jan 1973 England Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom 50-48.25.
Win 12-2-1 United States Sam "Diamond Ray" McGill TKO 9 5 Dec 1972 England Kensington, London, United Kingdom
Win 14-13-5 United States "Big" John Hudgins KO 2 14 Nov 1972 England Wembley, London, United Kingdom
Win 32-11-3 Canada Bill Drover KO 7 31 Oct 1972 England Kensington, London, United Kingdom
Win 3-11-1 Hungary Ferenc Kristofcsak DQ 1 10 Oct 1972 England Kensington, London, United Kingdom
Loss 5-1-1 United States Eddie "Big E" Duncan PTS 10 26 Sep 1972 England Wembley, London, United Kingdom 49-49.25.
Win 7-14 United States Johnny "Big" Mac TKO 2 19 Jul 1972 Republic of Ireland Dublin, Ireland
Win 12-3-1 United Kingdom Billy Aird TKO 8 6 Jun 1972 England Kensington, London, United Kingdom
Win 8-6-1 United States Joe "Top Cat" Gholston KO 5 25 Apr 1972 England Kensington, London, United Kingdom
Win 5-7 Puerto Rico Ruben Figueroa KO 2 28 Mar 1972 England Wembley, London, United Kingdom
Win 2-1 United States Larry "Legend" Sykes KO 1 15 Feb 1972 England Kensington, London, United Kingdom
Win 11-2 Germany Wilhelm Janco TKO 1 25 Jan 1972 England Kensington, London, United Kingdom
Win 6-16-2 France Emilio Okee TKO 5 7 Dec 1971 England Kensington, London, United Kingdom
Win 4-19-2 United States Tony Burwell PTS 8 24 Nov 1971 England Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom
Win 9-11 Canada Frank Bullard TKO 2 16 Nov 1971 England Wembley, London, United Kingdom
Win 25-17-2 France Pierre Minier TKO 5 8 Nov 1971 England Mayfair, London, United Kingdom
Win 8-3-1 France Okacha Boubekeur KO 1 18 Oct 1971 England Piccadilly, London, United Kingdom

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