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41 Years Ago Today

On this day back in 1975 a boxer from Bethnal Green stunned the world and became the WBC world welterweight champion.

But the manner in which this boxer became a world champion was something that cemented his name in the annuals of boxing history.

His name was John H Stracey, a fighter who travelled to Mexico City to take on a boxing great in the shape of José Nápoles.

Over 44,000 crammed into a bullring, in Mexico City, to see John H Stracey become their hero’s latest victim.

The challenger was kept waiting in the ring for some ten minutes before the champion joined him. He spent the time gesticulating with the crowd with a humorous approach paying dividends.

But, once the first bell sounded, Stracey didn’t get off to the best of starts. As early as the first round the champion had the man from Bethnal Green down on the canvas, with the challenger being caught by a left hook.

Stracey remained resolute in ensuring, despite the hostility from the crowd increasing, he got to the end of the round. The third round saw Stracey get his revenge, a left hook caught the Mexican champion and he to hit the canvas.

Sensing this was his opportunity, Stracey poured on the pressure and after nine minutes of action the fight was over. José Nápoles eye was shut, his face was swollen and bruised from Stracey’s monotonous assault and, against all the odds, Great Britain had a new world champion.

The defeat was the last we saw of José Nápoles in the ring, the Mexican fighter retired soon after.

It was, and still remains, one of the biggest upsets in boxing history but it couldn’t have happened to a nicer gentleman.

Today, John H Stracey, we salute you on your remarkable achievement.


The Journalist

Writer: Kid Glove Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday December 6 2016

Time: 3:02PM

 

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