Jimmy Young, 1948-2005

23.02.05 - by Kent Appel: The boxing world lost another of its warriors this past Sunday, February 20, 2005 when Jimmy Young of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania died of an apparent heart attack. Young, who was just 56 years old at his passing was a leading heavyweight contender during the talent rich 1970's. He used his unorthodox style of fighting while backing up and avoiding the punches of his opponents while counterpunching in bunches to gain decisions over some of the best fighters of the era as well as coming close to winning the heavyweight title on two separate occasions..

Young, who from 1969 to 1988 had a career record of 34-19-2, 1 NC, 11 by KO, at his best was much better than his career mark would indicate. He came close to winning the heavyweight title in 1976 when he dropped a close decision to champion Muhammad Ali and then again in 1978 in dropping a split decision to Ken Norton in a WBC bout first billed as a title elimination contest but later upgraded to a title fight when Leon Spinks, who had beaten Ali for the title, refused to defend the title against Norton, the number one contender.

Young had his biggest win in 1977 over former heavyweight champion George Foreman when he out-boxed Foreman over twelve rounds, knocking down Foreman in the last round to solidify the win. Young also had two decision victories over highly regarded contender Ron Lyle, one in 1975 and the other in 1976, as well as a draw with another highly regarded contender, Earnie Shavers in 1974.

Young, in recent years, had fallen on hard times but even though he didn't have the money he had earned in his long boxing career, those who knew him said he still had a smile for everyone a lot of the time and he will be missed. REST IN PEACE JIMMY YOUNG.

Article posted on 23.02.2005

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