Trevor Christian 1942-2011

By Tony Nobbs: The Australian boxing fraternity is mourning the passing of one our esteemed members. Former national champion and world title ring official Trevor Christian passed away at Napean Hospital in Western Sydney on Sunday night after a long battle with cancer. He was 69.

Born in Narrandera in the Riverina district of country New South Wales on October 28, 1942, Trevor had his first bout at age seven and fought as an amateur around thirty five times (“I didn’t keep count” ), also fighting in tent shows.

Trained by his highly regarded uncle Roy Carroll and managed as a professional by Ern Mc Quillan he embarked on a career in the “punch for pay” ranks at the age of seventeen with a six round points nod over Hank Wilson, going unbeaten in his first eight starts. In his sixteenth outing, with a record of 12-2-1 he captured the Australian light middleweight title with a seven round cut eye stoppage of George Carroll (real name Bobby Huddleston) at Sydney Stadium on September 9, 1963 but lost it in his next outing to Rod Kenny in Melbourne.

In 1964 Trevor travelled to Singapore and fought a ten round draw with future Japanese and OPBF champion and WBA/WBC 154 lb title challenger Hisao Minami. “They called it a draw but I definitely won the fight” he told me in an interview last year.

He fought until 1970, only contesting twenty five bouts in ten years and finished with a 16-7-2, 6 KOs record. His inactivity was caused by him being a diabetic and not being able to train full time. He won just one of his last four. His best punch was his straight left and he was a big believer in the dangers of over sparring.

“(In a normal day training) I’d run a couple of miles in the morning and then go to the gym in the afternoon. If I boxed I’d only do three or four rounds. I never boxed a lot. It takes too much out of you. In the short term it helps you but in the long term it doesn’t. I’ve seen a lot of examples over the years. Some blokes box twelve rounds a night. That’s a fight” he said, pointing out that many fighters get more damage in the gym than in actual contests.

Growing up he said his heroes were the outstanding Aboriginal duo of Dave Sands and Jack Hassen and the super tough George Barnes.

He believes Marvin Hagler was the best he saw.”He could box both orthodox or southpaw. He had beautiful balance. He never got to the top until he was twenty six because they wouldn’t give him a go” he said.

In the early seventies Trevor began refereeing and in 1990 became the first Aboriginal to referee a world title fight when he worked the Muangchai Kittikasem – Juang Jae Lee IBF flyweight title fight in Thailand. He continued to judge until August this year, the final time working the undercards of Daniel Geale – Eromesle Albert in Tasmania.

The best fight he refereed, he believes, was the 1976 Australian heavyweight title clash between Steve Acczel and Tedy Gray in Sydney. Aczel won KO 10. “They belted each other back and forth. You wouldn’t see a better fight than that”.

Trevor was someone who helped a lot of people in many walks of life whether they be black, white or brindle. He was a gentleman and a lifelong teetotaller. You’d go a fair way before finding someone more respected. He is survived by two sons David and Grant. His funeral will take place at Pinegroves Cemetery, Minchinbury, Sydney at 11.30 am on Thursday.

Article posted on 13.12.2011

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