In sad news, it has been reported how Alan Minter, the former world middleweight champion, has passed away at the age of 69. Minter had been battling cancer. He passed away yesterday.
Minter was a fine fighter, one of British boxing’s best. A bronze medal winner at the 1972 Olympics, Minter, was world middleweight champion in 1980. Minter went to America to challenge the tough Vito Auntuerfermo, and a controversial 15 round decision later, he was the new champ.
The rematch saw Minter leave no doubt, cutting the notorious bleeder badly enough for the fight to be stopped. Minter had proven he was indeed a worthy world champion. But someone was waiting in the shadows.
Marvin Hagler, who had been held to a most controversial draw in his 1979 challenge of Vito, thus being denied the crown, was hell-bent on taking the belt from the new ruler. Minter famously helped stoke the fires that were already burning inside Hagler by stating how “no black man will ever take my title.”
Minter later apologized for the remark (many times in fact), but the bad-natured element the September 1980 fight had stuck. Things got much worse after just three rounds of action.
Hagler simply tore through Minter, leaving the defending champ needing many stitches. The crowd in London, made up of mostly drunk Brits, turned on Hagler, believing he had opened the facial wounds with illegal use of his shaven head.
Hagler was pelted with beer bottles as he tried to leave the ring. It was a dark day for British boxing. But this is not how Minter should be remembered. This might have been his defining fight, but Minter showed his class in other fights.
Minter was never again a world champion after what Hagler did to him, yet he did box on, winning some meaningful fights. Minter retired with a respectable 39-9 record. Years later, Minter’s son began a pro career of his own.
Our condolences go out to Alan’s family and friends at this sad time.
If it wasn’t for the great Marvin Hagler, Alan Minter might well have enjoyed a far longer reign as world champion. As it is, Minter is a true British fighting hero. He ducked nobody, and he always gave his all in each and every fight he had, including his final one.