By Tony Nobbs

08.01 - At their Annual Convention in Pattaya Beach, Thailand in early December, the World Boxing Council presented former Bantamweight Champion Lionel Edmund Rose MBE with a replica of the belt he gave to young burns victim Tjandamurra O'Shane. Tjandamurra was severely burnt in a cowardly, evil attack while playing in a schoolyard in Cairns, Northern Australia in 1995. While he was recovering in hospital, Rose, the only Aboriginal to ever hold a Legitimate World Boxing Title (6 have since lost challenges), gave the child, a nephew of high profile Aboriginal magistrate Patricia O'Shane, the belt he won by unanimously outpointing Japanese legend Masahiko Fighting Harada over 15 rounds in Tokyo on February 16 1968. Lionel, who also won the WBA Crown against Harada,was the grand old age of 19 and had been a pro for 4 years. When the new champ arrived home there were over 100,000 people to greet him in a ticker-tape parade through Melbourne.

After three successful defences, all on points, he lost his Titles to Mexican KO artist "Rockabye" Ruben Olivares, one of the greatest Bantams in history, by 5 round knockout at Inglewood, California. During his reign, in which he suffered drastic weight problems, Lionel was rated by Ring Magazine as one of the top P4P boxers in the world.

He later challenged for the WBC Super Featherweight Title, losing a close 15 rounder to Yoshiaki Numata at Hiroshima, May 30, 1971. He retired in 1976 with a record of 42-11, 12 wins inside the distance. He still remains hugely popular and receives standing ovations wherever he goes and is this particular writers favourite Australian boxer. He was accompanied to Thaland by wife Jenny, daughter of his amateur trainer Frank Oakes.He was trained throughout his professional carer by Jack Rennie.


By Tony Nobbs

07.01 - With Bushfire's still raging throughout the state of NSW for the third week, World rated Lightweight Lovemore "The Panther" Ndou (30-3-1, 18ko's) will step back into the ring on February 15 when he boxes a charity exhibition, donating his purse to the NSW South Coast Bushfire Appeal Fund. Ndou's Sydney stablemate, popular Heavyweight Russell Townsend will headline the show at the Bulli-Woonoona RSL Club, south of Sydney, also donating his purse.

Ndou, 30, has not fought since scoring an impressive 5 round TKO over Chilean veteran Carlos "Latigo" Uribe last February 25 and recently linked with US Agent Don Majeski after his contract with Australian promoter Bill Mordey expired. He had been hoping for a crack at WBC Champion Jose Castillo but with the brilliant Floyd Mayweather moving up to 135lb, the South African born Ndou may have to wait his turn or take another path. Inactivity has seen him slip from # 3 to # 7 in the WBC rankings. Prior to the Uribe win, Ndou had stuggled in his previous five fights and was later diagnosed with Glandular fever. He was very fortunate to win a ten round decision over crafty Argentine Gustavo Cuello in October 1999 and his upset ten round points thrashing at the southpaw hands of Venezualean Superlightweight Guillermo "Pantera" Mosquera in June 2000 later cost him a shot at Paul Spadafora's IBF Title.

Ndou v Johar Abu Lashin, 1998.


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