Jim Watt (boxer)

Jim Watt MBE (born 18 July 1948) is a Scottish former boxer and commentator who became world champion in the lightweight division when Roberto Durán left the title vacant in 1979 and the WBC had him fight Alfredo Pitalua. Watt knocked out Pitalua in twelve rounds.[1]

Jim Watt
Real nameJim Watt
Born (1948-07-18) 18 July 1948 (age 72)
Glasgow, Scotland
Boxing record
Total fights46
Wins by KO27
No contests0

Boxing careerEdit

Raised in the Bridgeton[1] and Possilpark[2] neighbourhoods of Glasgow, Watt trained at Cardowan Amateur Boxing Club in the city's Maryhill district.[1] His father died when Jim was five years old.[3] He came to prominence in 1968 by beating John H. Stracey to the ABA Championships; he turned professional immediately afterwards, declining the chance to compete as an amateur at the 1968 Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City.[1]

Watt lost to cockney boxer Johnny Claydon before he was crowned champion. Watt beat such notables as future world champion Sean O'Grady, former world champion Perico Fernandez, Charlie Nash and Howard Davis Jr.[1] The fight with O'Grady was particularly controversial: Watt won by a knockout in round twelve when the referee stopped the fight because of a cut suffered by O'Grady. According to the book, The Ring: Boxing The 20th Century, the cut was produced by a head-butt, in which case the judges' scorecards would have been checked, and whoever was ahead given the win by a technical decision. The referee, however, declared incorrectly that O' Grady's cut had been produced by a punch, therefore, Watt officially, but unjustly, won the fight by knockout. When O'Grady won the WBA title four months later Watt was declared lightweight champion by The Ring.

Watt had also fought, and lost to, Ken Buchanan after 15 rounds in 1973.[1] On 20 June 1981, he fought his last fight, when losing the WBC world Lightweight title to Alexis Argüello by a 15-round decision in London. The three judges' scores were 147-143, 147-143 and 147-137. Watt retired with a record of 38 wins (27 by knockout) and 8 losses (3 by knockout).

After boxingEdit

Watt, along with former world Middleweight champion Alan Minter, earns his living as an after dinner speaker. He was awarded an MBE. He was long-term co-commentator with Reg Gutteridge on ITV's The Big Fight Live and moved with Gutteridge to Sky Sports in 1996 when ITV withdrew from boxing coverage. During 2016, Watt announced his retirement as a boxing commentator.[4]

Watt made a special guest appearance on the BBC's Still Game sitcom in August, 2007, as well as television adverts for Kelvin Timber (a Scottish home and building supplies stores company) in the 1980s. He and his family settled in the town of Kirkintilloch to the north of Glasgow.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

In June 2015, Watt's 38-year-old daughter Michelle Watt was found dead in her home. She appeared in various programmes as a television hostess, including 60 Minute Makeover. Watt's 17-year-old son James died in a car crash in 1995.[5][3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f "A sporting nation: Jim Watt wins world lightweight title 1979". BBC. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  2. ^ "Schemes and dreams: Jim Watt". BBC Radio Scotland. 28 December 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Boxing legend Jim Watt speaks for first time of grief at death of teenage son in car crash". Daily Record. 26 August 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Jim Watt announces retirement as Sky Sports commentator". Sky Sports. 22 July 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  5. ^ Rozina Sabur (11 October 2015). "TV presenter Michelle Watt took her own life because of chronic headaches her father reveal's". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 October 2015.

External linksEdit

Title last held by
Willie Reilly
British Lightweight Champion
3 May 1972 - 29 January 1973
Succeeded by
Ken Buchanan
Preceded by
Roberto Durán
WBC Lightweight Champion
17 April 1979 – 20 June 1981
Succeeded by
Alexis Argüello
The Ring Lightweight Champion
12 April 1981 – 20 June 1981