Re: I am a boxing manager: if you have questions about the boxing biz, ask!
Dempsey something we have discussed before but as a young kid watching the breakfast news hoping to hear Johnny Owen had pulled off a miracle then hearing the tragic news he was in a coma.Then it really struck home how dangerous the fight game is 'beautiful brutality' it has been called & it sums up the reality of boxing for me.
He was a beautiful pure boxer Owen 'the matchstick man' was his nickname & Pintor was a step too far at the time but many had made the mistake of looking at him & thinking he looks like a choirboy he can't fight.Was British,Commonwealth & European champion at the time had just outboxed unbeaten John Feeney at Wembley (British & Commonwealth title) & the fight before Juan Rodriguez(European) where he avenged his only previous defeat.
He had lost to a hometown decision in Spain robbed on the cards he boxed the Spaniards head off back in Wales.
Fight he did & that's all he loved to do teetotal & had to constantly train to make bantamweight was 5ft 8 inches tall pencil thin.The chance came in Sept 1980 Pintor a top,top fighter heavy hands Owen actually brang the fight to Pintor.The fight going against him in the 9th Owen sustaining a massive laceration lower lip (had severed) it would no doubt have been stopped today.It was something his father (who was his trainer) beat himself up about the fighter brave as ever wanted to go on.
He was knocked down twice in the 12th the second he never recovered from & spent two months in a coma & passed a brave,brave kid there is a statue in Merthyr Tydfil of him in rememberance of him.
Pintor actually came over to Wales years later & met his family a documentary was filmed about it 'the long journey' a hard watch in places as I recall.
It turned out many years later & as medical checks on fighters & safety have improved Johnny Owen had an abnormally thin skull.The reality being it could of happened to that brave young man anytime a real tragedy yes.
But Johnny Owen lived & died doing something he loved & certainly the people of Wales & my generation always remember 'The Matchstick Man'.
His manager Mickey Duff I have a decent (funny) story about which I will post up later just want to double check the story with a friend a shrewd man inside in fight game & out of it even in failing health.