John Conteh

John Anthony Conteh, MBE (born 27 May 1951) is a British former professional boxer who competed from 1971 to 1980. He held the WBC light-heavyweight title from 1974 to 1978, and regionally the European, British and Commonwealth titles between 1973 and 1974. As an amateur, he represented England and won a gold medal in the middleweight division at the 1970 British Commonwealth Games.[1][2][3] In 2017, Conteh was awarded an MBE for services to boxing at the Queen's Birthday Honours.

John Conteh
MBE
John Conteh c1973.jpg
Conteh c. 1973
Statistics
Weight(s)
Height6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Reach76 in (193 cm)
NationalityBritish
Born (1951-05-27) 27 May 1951 (age 70)
Toxteth, Liverpool,
Lancashire, England
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights39
Wins34
Wins by KO24
Losses4
Draws1

Professional careerEdit

Born in Liverpool, Lancashire (now Merseyside), Conteh began boxing at the age of 10 at a boxing club in Kirkby that was a training ground for fellow British amateur Joey Singleton. At 19, he won the middleweight gold medal at the 1970 British Commonwealth Games. He won the WBC light-heavyweight title in October 1974 by defeating Jorge Ahumada. He held the title until 1977 when he was stripped for not going through with a mandated defence.[4]

Conteh lost a 15-round split decision to the Yugoslavian fighter Mate Parlov when he attempted to regain the title.[5] He failed twice in further efforts to win back the crown, in 1979 and then again seven months later in 1980, on both occasions fighting the American Matthew Saad Muhammad. Muhammad won both bouts but the first victory was declared void because his cornermen used an illegal substance on a cut.[6]

Appearances outside boxingEdit

Conteh was one of the celebrities featured dressed in prison gear on the cover of the 1973 Wings album, Band on the Run.[7] He was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1974.[citation needed]

Conteh was the 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.[citation needed]

Conteh appeared on the BBC television programme Sporting Legends which was presented by Eamonn Holmes. There he spoke at length at how he started out in boxing and how Ali persuaded him to fight at light-heavyweight instead of heavyweight. Ali believed that Conteh was too small to be a heavyweight. Conteh also spoke of 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.[citation needed]

Conteh also appeared in films such as Man at the Top (1973), The Stud (1978) and Tank Malling (1989), and 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 finished in third place. His most recent TV acting appearance was in the crime drama Justice, in which he again played an ex-boxer.[citation needed]

Conteh was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to boxing.[8]

Professional boxing recordEdit

Professional record summary
39 fights 34 wins 4 losses
By knockout 24 1
By decision 10 3
Draws 1
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
39 Win 34–4–1   James Dixon TKO 5 (10), 2:49 31 May 1980   Liverpool Stadium, Liverpool, England
38 Loss 33–4–1   Matthew Saad Muhammad TKO 4 (15), 2:27 29 Mar 1980   Steel Pier, Atlantic City, New Jersey, US For WBC and The Ring light-heavyweight titles
37 Loss 33–3–1   Matthew Saad Muhammad UD 15 18 Aug 1979   Steel Pier, Atlantic City, New Jersey, US For WBC light-heavyweight title
36 Win 33–2–1   Ivy Brown PTS 10 4 Jun 1979   Liverpool, England
35 Draw 32–2–1   Jesse Burnett PTS 10 19 Apr 1979   Hilton on Park Lane, London, England
34 Win 32–2   Leonardo Rodgers KO 7 (10), 1:15 26 Sep 1978   Empire Pool, London, England
33 Loss 31–2   Mate Parlov SD 15 17 Jun 1978   Red Star Stadium, Belgrade, Yugoslavia For WBC light-heavyweight title
32 Win 31–1   Joe Cokes PTS 10 7 Feb 1978   Michael Sobell Sports Centre, London, England
31 Win 30–1   Len Hutchins TKO 3 (15), 1:05 5 Mar 1977   Liverpool Stadium, Liverpool, England Retained WBC light-heavyweight title
30 Win 29–1   Yaqui López UD 15 9 Oct 1976   Forum, Copenhagen, Denmark Retained WBC light-heavyweight title
29 Win 28–1   Willie Taylor UD 10 16 Aug 1975   Catholic Youth Center, Scranton, Pennsylvania, US
28 Win 27–1   Lonnie Bennett TKO 5 (15), 1:10 11 Mar 1975   Empire Pool, London, England Retained WBC light-heavyweight title
27 Win 26–1   Jorge Ahumada PTS 15 1 Oct 1974   Empire Pool, London, England Won vacant WBC light-heavyweight title
26 Win 25–1   Chris Finnegan TKO 6 (15) 21 May 1974   Empire Pool, London, England Retained European, British, and Commonwealth light-heavyweight titles
25 Win 24–1   Tom Bogs RTD 6 (15) 12 Mar 1974   Empire Pool, London, England Retained European light-heavyweight title
24 Win 23–1   Les Stevens PTS 10 12 Feb 1974   Royal Albert Hall, London, England
23 Win 22–1   Fred Lewis TKO 3 (10) 14 Dec 1973   Liverpool Stadium, Liverpool, England
22 Win 21–1   Baby Boy Rolle PTS 15 23 Oct 1973   National Ice Centre, Nottingham, England Retained Commonwealth light-heavyweight title
21 Win 20–1   Vicente Rondón TKO 9 (10) 10 Sep 1973   Empire Pool, London, England
20 Win 19–1   Chris Finnegan PTS 15 22 May 1973   Empire Pool, London, England Retained European light-heavyweight title;
Won British and Commonwealth light-heavyweight titles
19 Win 18–1   Rüdiger Schmidtke TKO 12 (15), 2:28 13 Mar 1973   Empire Pool, London, England Won European light-heavyweight title
18 Win 17–1   Terry Daniels TKO 7 (10) 14 Feb 1973   Las Vegas Convention Center, Winchester, Nevada, US
17 Win 16–1   Dave Matthews PTS 10 15 Jan 1973   Ice Stadium, Nottingham, England
16 Win 15–1   Sam McGill TKO 9 (10) 5 Dec 1972   Royal Albert Hall, London, England
15 Win 14–1   John Hudgins KO 3 (10), 1:30 14 Nov 1972   Empire Pool, London, England
14 Win 13–1   Bill Drover KO 7 (10), 2:24 31 Oct 1972   Royal Albert Hall, London, England
13 Win 12–1   Ferenc Kristofcsak TKO 1 (8) 10 Oct 1972   Royal Albert Hall, London, England
12 Loss 11–1   Eddie Duncan PTS 10 26 Sep 1972   Empire Pool, London, England
11 Win 11–0   Johnny Mac TKO 2 (8) 19 Jul 1972   Croke Park, Dublin, Ireland
10 Win 10–0   Billy Aird TKO 8 (8) 6 Jun 1972   Royal Albert Hall, London, England
9 Win 9–0   Joe Gholston TKO 5 (8) 25 Apr 1972   Royal Albert Hall, London, England
8 Win 8–0   Ruben Figueroa KO 2 (8) 28 Mar 1972   Empire Pool, London, England
7 Win 7–0   Larry Sykes KO 1 (8) 15 Feb 1972   Royal Albert Hall, London, England
6 Win 6–0   Wilhelm Janco TKO 1 (8) 25 Jan 1972   Royal Albert Hall, London, England
5 Win 5–0   Emilio Okee TKO 5 (8) 7 Dec 1971   Royal Albert Hall, London, England
4 Win 4–0   Tony Burwell PTS 8 24 Nov 1971   National Ice Centre, Nottingham, England
3 Win 3–0   Frank Bullard TKO 2 (10) 16 Nov 1971   Empire Pool, London, England
2 Win 2–0   Pierre Minier TKO 5 (8) 8 Nov 1971   Grosvenor House Hotel, London, England
1 Win 1–0   Okacha Boubekeur KO 1 (8) 18 Oct 1971   Hotel Café Royal, London, England

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "1970 Athletes". Team England.
  2. ^ "Edinburgh, 1970 Team". Team England.
  3. ^ "Athletes and results". Commonwealth Games Federation.
  4. ^ Conteh Stripped of Title. United Press International via Star-News. 19 May 1977
  5. ^ Parlov Decisions Conteh. Daytona Beach Morning Journal. 17 June 1978
  6. ^ Controversial ending to cruiserweight fight. The Montreal Gazette. 10 December 1979
  7. ^ Spizer, Bruce (2005). The Beatles Solo on Apple Records.
  8. ^ "No. 61962". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 June 2017. p. B16.

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Amateur boxing titles
Previous:
Dave Wallington
ABA middleweight champion
1970
Next:
Alan Minter
Regional boxing titles
Preceded by
Rüdiger Schmidtke
European light-heavyweight champion
13 March 1973 – October 1974
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Domenico Adinolfi
Preceded by
Chris Finnegan
British light-heavyweight champion
22 May 1973 – October 1974
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Johnny Frankham
Commonwealth
light-heavyweight champion

22 May 1973 – October 1974
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Steve Aczel
World boxing titles
Vacant
Title last held by
Bob Foster
WBC light-heavyweight champion
1 October 1974 – 21 March 1977
Vacant
Title next held by
Miguel Ángel Cuello
Light heavyweight status
Preceded by
Bob Foster
Oldest living world champion
21 November 2015 – present
Incumbent