Richard Dunn (boxer)

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Richard Dunn
Statistics
Weight(s)Heavyweight
Height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
NationalityUnited Kingdom British
Born (1945-01-19) 19 January 1945 (age 76)
Halifax, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
StanceSouthpaw
Boxing record
Total fights45
Wins33
Wins by KO16
Losses12
Draws0
No contests0[1]

Richard Dunn (born 19 January 1945, in Halifax)[1] is an English former heavyweight boxer who was the British (1975-76), European (1976) and Commonwealth (1975-76) Champion. He unsuccessfully challenged Muhammad Ali for the World Heavyweight title in 1976.[2]

Early life[edit]

Dunn played rugby in his teens and early 20s. Starting boxing as an amateur in the early 1960s, he turned professional in his mid-20s whilst continuing to work as a scaffolder, living in Bradford, West Yorkshire. He was unable to afford the expense of sparring partners to train with for most of his career, and his coach was his father-in-law.[3] He was a soldier in the British Army, serving as a non-commissioned officer with 4th Battalion, Parachute Regiment in the 1960s-70s, being awarded the Corps' Fishmongers' Trophy in 1974.[4]

Boxing career[edit]

A southpaw, Dunn's professional career began with a win over Cardiff fighter Del Phillips in a heavyweight eliminator competition in Mayfair, London in July 1969. His second fight was on the same day in the semi-final. It was a first-round defeat against Danny McAlinden, who dispatched all three of his opponents in under three rounds to win the competition. However, in May 1973, Dunn defeated Billy Aird on points in an eliminator for the British Heavyweight Championship at Grosvenor House in London. He lost the final eliminator against Bunny Johnson, in October, after a tenth-round knockout at the King's Hall in Manchester. However, when he faced the same opponent at the Empire Pool at Wembley for both the British and Commonwealth titles in September 1975, he prevailed on points, after 15 rounds.

British title[edit]

He made his first defence against McAlinden two months later. However, this time it was Dunn that won with a knockout after McAlinden went down three times in the second round.

On 6 April 1976 Dunn won the European Heavyweight Title by a third-round TKO of the German boxer Bernd August at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Title shot[edit]

On 24 May 1976 Dunn was given the chance of fighting for the WBC and WBA titles against the American champion Muhammad Ali at the Olympic Hall in Munich, Germany. Dunn, despite fighting in a spirited fashion, found himself seriously outmatched by Ali in power and technique, being knocked down several times by the American champion, who clearly realized the un-equalness of the competition in his favour and began to land carefully timed and weighted punches to stun Dunn but minimize the chance of physical injury to him as the fight went on. At the 2:05 minute mark in the fifth round Dunn went to the floor for the final time and the referee stopped the match in a technical knock-out, with Ali playing to the crowd comically windmilling a punch that was coming that would be overwhelming, and to encourage the referee to end the match as having run its course. (This was to be the last knockout Ali achieved in his professional career).[5]

Aftermath[edit]

Dunn lost his next fight in London five months later with Joe Bugner, surrendering all his titles in a first-round knock-out. His final fight was a fifth-round knock-out defeat to the South African boxer Kallie Knoetze at the Ellis Park Tennis Stadium in Johannesburg on 10 September 1977, after which Dunn retired from the sport.

Dunn was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1976 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews just ahead of his fight with Muhammad Ali.[6]

Post-career civic honours[edit]

Richard Dunn Sports Centre, Odsal Top, Bradford

The 'Richard Dunn Sports Centre' was opened by Bradford Council in Dunn's home town in 1978, named in honour of his sporting achievements. The facility was closed in November 2019, and is due to be demolished in 2020, with the Council announcing the intention to name a new road on the site after Dunn in the future.[7][8]

Later life[edit]

After his sports career, having lost money in a failed hotel venture, Dunn lived in Scarborough, North Yorkshire with his wife Janet and three children, returning to work as a scaffolder. He was seriously injured in 1989 on an oil rig in the North Sea after a 40ft fall which broke both of his legs.[9] In retirement he lives in Scarborough, where he has been associated with charity work for Parkinson's UK and is the honorary president of the town's amateur boxing club.[10]

Professional boxing record[edit]

33 Wins (16 knockouts, 17 decisions), 12 Losses (11 knockouts, 1 decision) [11]
Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Loss 12-2 South Africa Kallie Knoetze KO 5 10 Sep 1977 South Africa Ellis Park Tennis Stadium, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Loss 51-7-1 United Kingdom Joe Bugner KO 1 12 Oct 1976 England Empire Pool, Wembley, London, United Kingdom BBBofC British/Commonwealth/EBU Heavyweight Titles.
Loss 51-2 United States Muhammad Ali TKO 5 24 May 1976 Germany Olympiahalle, Munich, Germany WBA/WBC World Heavyweight Titles. Referee stopped the bout at 2:05 of the fifth round.
Win 21-2-1 Germany Bernd August TKO 3 6 Apr 1976 England Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London, United Kingdom EBU Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 1:38 of the third round.
Win 32-12-1 United States Terry Krueger TKO 3 25 Nov 1975 England Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London, United Kingdom Referee stopped the bout at 2:29 of the third round.
Win 27-5-2 United Kingdom Danny McAlinden KO 2 4 Nov 1975 England Empire Pool, Wembley, London, United Kingdom BBBofC British/Commonwealth Heavyweight Titles.
Win 43-6 Jamaica Bunny Johnson PTS 15 30 Sep 1975 England Empire Pool, Wembley, London, United Kingdom BBBofC British/Commonwealth Heavyweight Titles.
Win 22-17-3 Antigua and Barbuda Rocky Campbell TKO 7 7 May 1975 England Solihull Civic Hall, Solihull, West Midlands, United Kingdom
Win 5-1 Wales Neville Meade TKO 4 17 Feb 1975 England Grosvenor House, Mayfair, London, United Kingdom
Win 8-2-1 United Kingdom Tim Wood PTS 8 9 Sep 1974 England Grosvenor House, Mayfair, London, United Kingdom 79-78.
Loss 44-5-3 Spain Jose Manuel Urtain KO 4 22 May 1974 Spain Madrid, Spain
Loss 2-1-2 Nigeria Ngozika Ekwelum KO 7 11 Apr 1974 Germany Berlin, Germany
Loss 9-4-1 United States Jimmy Young TKO 8 18 Feb 1974 England Mayfair Sporting Club, Mayfair, London, United Kingdom
Win 12-2 United States Obie English TKO 10 14 Jan 1974 England Grosvenor House, Mayfair, London, United Kingdom Referee stopped the bout at 2:50 of the tenth round.
Loss 34-6 Jamaica Bunny Johnson KO 10 11 Oct 1973 Lancashire King's Hall, Manchester, United Kingdom BBBofC British Heavyweight Title Eliminator.
Win 12-5 United States Larry Beilfuss TKO 4 9 Jul 1973 England Grosvenor House, Mayfair, London, United Kingdom
Win 13-5-2 United Kingdom Billy Aird PTS 10 14 May 1973 England Grosvenor House, Mayfair, London, United Kingdom BBBofC British Heavyweight Title Eliminator. 49.25-48-75.
Win 21-7 United States Johnny Griffin KO 3 15 Mar 1973 England Grosvenor House, Mayfair, London, United Kingdom
Win 17-5 United States Rufus Brassell DQ 3 13 Feb 1973 England Wolverhampton Civic Hall, Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Win 17-2 United States Roy Williams PTS 8 15 Jan 1973 England Grosvenor House, Mayfair, London, United Kingdom 39-38.
Win 24-10-5 United States Ray Patterson PTS 8 20 Nov 1972 England Grosvenor House, Mayfair, London, United Kingdom 39.5-39.25.
Win 16-5 Canada Larry Renaud KO 1 16 Oct 1972 England Grosvenor House, Mayfair, London, United Kingdom Renaud knocked out at 1:45 of the first round.
Win 21-6-3 United Kingdom Roger Tighe PTS 10 21 Mar 1972 Yorkshire Midland Hotel, Bradford, Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Win 3-2 United States Ron Oliver KO 1 21 Feb 1972 England Mayfair Sporting Club, Mayfair, London, United Kingdom
Loss 18-11-1 Antigua and Barbuda Rocky Campbell TKO 1 9 Dec 1971 England Wolverhampton Civic Hall, Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Win 11-3 England Cliff Field TKO 4 24 Nov 1971 Nottinghamshire Nottingham Ice Stadium, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom
Win 31-10 Wales Carl Gizzi PTS 8 22 Sep 1971 England Solihull Civic Hall, Solihull, West Midlands, United Kingdom
Win 8-2 Jamaica Dennis Forbes PTS 8 22 Jun 1971 England Cafe Royal, Piccadilly, London, United Kingdom
Win 22-4 Jamaica Bunny Johnson PTS 8 13 Apr 1971 England Wolverhampton Civic Hall, Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Win 7-3-2 United Kingdom Brian Jewitt PTS 8 25 Jan 1971 England National Sporting Club, Piccadilly, London, United Kingdom
Win 6-1 Jamaica Dennis Forbes KO 1 14 Dec 1970 England National Sporting Club, Piccadilly, London, United Kingdom
Loss 8-18-4 United Kingdom George Dulaire TKO 1 2 Nov 1970 England County Hotel, Bedford, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
Loss 6-1 United Kingdom Billy Aird TKO 6 7 Sep 1970 Lancashire Hotel Piccadilly, Manchester, United Kingdom BBBofC Central Heavyweight Title.
Win 9-16-2 United Kingdom Obe Hepburn TKO 5 21 May 1970 England Anglo-American Sporting Club, Mayfair, London, United Kingdom
Win 12-25-3 Antigua and Barbuda Billy Wynter PTS 6 4 May 1970 England Bedford, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
Win 9-15-2 United Kingdom Obe Hepburn PTS 6 31 Mar 1970 England York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, United Kingdom
Loss 4-1 United Kingdom Billy Aird PTS 8 23 Feb 1970 England Grosvenor House, Mayfair, London, United Kingdom
Win 18-22-3 Jamaica Lloyd Walford PTS 6 25 Nov 1969 Yorkshire Leeds Town Hall, Leeds, Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Win 5-15-3 United Kingdom George Dulaire TKO 2 3 Nov 1969 England County Hotel, Bedford, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
Win 3-3 United Kingdom John Cullen PTS 3 3 Nov 1969 England County Hotel, Bedford, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
Win 4-0 United Kingdom Billy Aird PTS 3 3 Nov 1969 England County Hotel, Bedford, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
Win 2-4 United Kingdom Jack Cotes TKO 3 13 Oct 1969 Nottinghamshire Nottingham Ice Stadium, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom
Win 2-3 United Kingdom Jack Cotes TKO 2 8 Sep 1969 Lancashire Hotel Piccadilly, Manchester, United Kingdom
Win 7-0-1 Wales Del Phillips PTS 3 7 Jul 1969 England Mayfair, London, United Kingdom
Loss -- United Kingdom Danny McAlinden KO 1 7 Jul 1969 England Mayfair, London, United Kingdom

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Richard Dunn". Boxing Stats. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  2. ^ Profile of Richard Dunn's boxing career, 'BoxRec' website (2020). https://boxrec.com/en/proboxer/9391
  3. ^ 'Richard Dunn: Yorkshire lad on a perilous mission', New York Times, 23 May 1976.
  4. ^ Military biography of Richard Dunn, 'Para Data' website (2020). https://www.paradata.org.uk/people/richard-dunn
  5. ^ Muhammad Ali vs Richard Dunn, 24 May 1976, published on Youtube 7 April 2013. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGkLv5AKZ9E&t=272s
  6. ^ "Richard Dunn". Bigredbook.info. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  7. ^ 'Bradford Street to be named after Richard Dunn,' BBC News, 17 January 2020. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-51146371
  8. ^ Bradford Metropolitan District Council | Sports and Leisure facilities | Richard Dunn Sports Centre
  9. ^ 'Where are they now?: Richard Dunn', 'The Independent, 13 April 1993. https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/where-are-they-now-richard-dunn-1454973.html
  10. ^ 'Muhammad Ali beating me was the highlight of my life, says Richard Dunn', Daily Telegraph', 5 June 2016. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/boxing/2016/06/05/muhammad-ali-beating-me-was-the-highlight-of-my-life-says-richar/
  11. ^ Richard Dunn - Boxer

External links[edit]