Britain's Gold Medallists:
ADAMS, Nicola Virginia
Born: 26 October 1982, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
Olympics competed in: 1 - 2012 (London)
Olympic medals: 2012 - Gold (Women's Flyweight)
The name of Nicola Adams will remain immortalised in the Olympic record books for all time.
Not only was she the first British woman to win an Olympic boxing gold medal, but she was also the sport's first ever Olympic champion, winning the flyweight title at London's ExCel Centre on 12 August 2012. Strangely, when Nicola was born in 1982 women's boxing was banned in the United Kingdom.
The likeable girl from a deprived area of Leeds, and a member of the Haringey Police Community Club, had a bye in the first round and then had a 16-7 points win over Bulgaria's Stoyka Petrova before meeting Mary Kom in the semi-final, but she had no difficulty is getting past her Indian opponent with an 11-6 win.
She was even more impressive in the final against the world's number one flyweight Ren Cancan of China - Nicola was ranked number two at the time. She put her opponent on the canvas in round two and ran out a clear 16-7 winner to create history.
Nicola Adams started boxing at the age of 13 and had her first competitive contest a year later just after the ban on women's boxing in Britain had been lifted. And in 2001 she became the first female boxer to represent England. But she struggled to get funding and she earned money by working as an extra on the British Soap Operas Emerdale and Coronation Street.
In 2007 she was the first English woman to win a boxing medal at a major championship when she won the silver medal at the European Championships in Denmark. She was also the women's ABA flyweight champion for the second time in 2007.
She followed her European silver with a World Championship silver the following year in China. However, she missed much of 2009 with a back injury. And in that same year it was announced that women's boxing would become an Olymoic spprt in 2012. Nicole feared that her back injury would force her to miss the Games.
However, she was determined, and she in 2010 and joined the first ever women's GB boxing squad and went to the World Championships were she landed another silver.
She then became the first British woman to win a major boxing title when she won the 2011 European Championships and that was followed in 2012 with another World Championship silver. In the 2010 and 2012 World Championship she was beaten by China's Cancan on both occasions. So, how sweet was that revenge at the Olympic Games?
For her services to boxing, Nicola was awarded the MBE in the 2013 New Year Honours List.
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Born: 27 September 1987, Kingston upon Hull, Humberside, England
Olympics competed in: 1 - 2012
Olympic medals: 2012 - Gold (Men's Bantamweight)
At the London 2012 Games Luke Campbell became the first Briton to win the bantamweight title since Harry Thomas in 1908.
A member of the St Paul's Amateur Boxing Club in Hull, a club he joined at the age of 13 along with his brother Kane in order to keep himself out of mischief as he was, by his own admission, 'a bit of a handful' as a teenager.
Campbell had a bye at the Olympics in the first round and then three wins on points over Italian, Bulgarian and Japanese opposition saw him up against the experienced John Joe Nevin of Ireland in the final. But Campbell had beaten Nevin in the semi-final of the World championship the previous year and was confident of another win.
Nevin beat the reigning world champion Lázaro Álvarez in the Olympic semi-final and in the final both Nevin and Campbell were evenly matched for the first two rounds but then Campbell put the Irishman on the canvas to run out the winner by 14 points to 11.
Campbell won the 2007 and 2008 Senior ABA Bantamweight title, beating Gareth Smith 23-1 in the second year. It was a memorable year for Campbell as he became the first Englishman for 47 years to win a European amateur title when he beat the very experienced Bulgarian Detelin Dalakliev on points at Liverpool. Campbell beat Dalakliev again in the quarter-final at the 2012 Olympics.
He was named the Amateur Boxer of the Year in 2009 by the Boxing Writers' Club of Great Britain.
Three years later he won a silver medal at the world amateur championship when he was beaten in the final by the Cuban Álvarez, the man who Irishman John Joe Nevin went on to beat at the 2012 London Olympics the following year.
Campbell was appointed an MBE in the 2013 New Year's Honours List and shortly afterwards he turned professional with the Eddie Hearn Matchroom stable and beat Andy Harris on his debut at Craven Park, Hull. Having put Harris on the canvas twice in the opening round the referee called a halt to proceedings after just 88 seconds.
Also in 2013, "Cool Hand" Campbell finished third in the eighth series of Dancing on Ice on ITV, with professional partner Jenna Smith.
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DEGALE, James Frederick
Born: 3 February 1986, Harlesden, London
Olympics competed in: 1 (2008)
Olympic medals: 2008 - Gold (Middleweight)
When James DeGale won Olympic gold in 2008, he became Britain's first middleweight champion since Chris Finnegan 40 years earlier.
Prior to the Beijing Olympics, DeGale's only successes at international level had been in winning the bronze medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games and the silver medal at the European Ameteur championships in both 2007 and 2008. At home, however, he was the ABA middleweight champion in both 2005 and 2006.
He was not one of Britain's medal hopes in Beijing and after two wins he came up against the defending champion Bakhtiyar Artayev but a third consecutive points decision came DeGale's way before he then met the fancied Irishman Darren Sutherland in the semi-final. Sutherland had beaten DeGale in the final of both the 2007 and 2008 European championships, but DeGale turned the tables to win on points.
In the Beijing final DeGale beat the clear favourite, Emilio Correa of Cuba in a bad tempered contest to become the surprise gold medallist. DeGale won by two points and had Correa not had two points deducted for biting DeGale's shoulder in the first round it could have been a different story.
DeGale started boxing at the age of 10 with the Trojan club in Harlesden before moving to the famous Dale Youth Boxing Club in Shepherd's Bush - a club that has produced many great fighters over the years, and also kept a lot on West London kid's off the streets and on the straight and narrow.
Following his Olympic success, DeGale, known as "Chunky" was awarded the MBE in the 2009 New Year's Honours List. By then he had turned professional and made his debut against the little known Georgian Velkhia Tchilaia and won on points over four rounds.
Less than 18 months after turning professional DeGale had won the WBA International super-middleweight title and in December 2010 he beat Paul Smith to win the British super-middleweight title.
His first defence of his title in May 2011 saw him pitched against George Groves a former Dale Club colleague although they had never been friends and their dislike for each other was common knowledge. They had met each other once as an amateur and Groves won on points much to DeGale's dismay and annoyance.
The O2 Arena was packed with 18,000 fans for their professional re-match, which Groves again won on points. Five months later and DeGale was back in the ring winning the European super-middleweight title. He then added the vacant WBC Silver super-middleweight title.
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DOUGLAS, John William Henry Tyler
Born: 3 September 1882, Clapton, London
Died: 19 December 1930, at sea, seven miles south of the Laeso Trindel Lightship, Denmark
Olympics competed in: 1 (1908)
Olympic medals: 1908 - Gold (Middleweight)
Johnny Douglas was an all-round amateur sportsman at the turn of the 20th century. He played First Class and Test cricket, played football for the two leading amateur sides of the day, Casuals and Corinthians, and also won an England amateur cap. Coming from a family with a boxing tradition, he was also a very proficient boxer, at which he won his Olympic gold medal in 1908.
A member of his father's timber business, Douglas made his first class cricket debut in 1901 but was dismissed for a "pair". He played just three matches that year but started playing regularly for Essex the following season before spending a season with London County in 1903. He returned to Essex in 1904 and was to captain the side from 1911 to 1928. He was named the Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1915.
One of the fittest cricketer's of the day, Douglas was a great all-rounder, he took nearly 2,000 first class wickets and scored over 24,000 first class runs. His greatest achievement was for Essex against Derbyshire in 1921 when he scored a career best 210 not out, and that was after talking nine Derbyshire wickets for 47 runs.
Douglas, nicknamed "Johnny Won't Hit Today" (because of his initials) by some Australian supporters, played for England 23 times and was captain on 18 occasions.
Douglas's boxing career was gathering momentum at the same time as his cricketing career. Having previously won the Public School's title while at Felsted in 1901 he became the Amateur Boxing Association (ABA) middleweight champion after beating Edward Mann in 1905.
A classy fighter Douglas was one of the best middleweights of the era and in 1908 at the London Olympics he took the gold medal after winning three bouts, all on the same day.
In the Olympic final, Douglas beat Australian 'Snowy' Baker on points over three rounds, with Douglas edging it after putting his opponent on the canvas in the second round with a blow to the jaw. It was by far the best fight of the Boxing competition in 1908. The Australian camp later insisted that Douglas only got the decision because Douglas's father was the referee and sole arbitrator. This was completely unfounded and it was confirmed that his father attended the Games as President of the ABA and was merely a spectator during the bout.
Douglas, along with his father, John Herbert, and younger brother "Pickles" were all prominent members of the ABA and all were top class boxing referees. "Pickles", like his brother, also played county cricket for Essex.
Johnny's opponent in the Olympic final, 'Snowy' Baker was an interesting character. He took part in the springboard diving competition at the 1908 Olympics, and also the 4 x 200 metres freestyle relay. During his career he competed in 29 different sports and represented Australia in five. He later became a movie stunt man and also appeared in several films in his own right. He also taught such stars as Elizabeth Taylor, Greta Garbo, Shirley Temple, Douglas Fairbanks and Rudolph Valentino how to fence, ride or swim.
During World War One, Douglas served with the Bedfordshire Regiment and rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.
He was to lose his life in tragic circumstances just four months after his retirement from cricket. He was travelling home from Finland with his father after they had been on a business trip to buy wood for the family business, when the SS Oberon, the ship they were travelling on, collided with another ship, the Arcturus, in foggy weather off the coast of Denmark. The Oberon sank in less than four minutes. Johnny and his father were two of 42 passengers and crew who lost their lives, Johnny reportedly losing his life trying to save his father. The tragedy happened less than a week before Johnny's wedding anniversary, which was on Christmas Day. Coincidentally the two ships in the collision were skippered by brothers, Erik and Ossi Hjelt.
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FINNEGAN, Christopher Martin
Born: 5 June 1944, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England
Died: 2 March 2009, Uxbridge, London
Olympics competed in: 1 (1968)
Olympic medals: 1968 - Gold (Middleweight)
The third Briton to win the Olympic middleweight title, and the first since Harry Mallin in 1924, Chris Finnegan was the golden boy of British boxing in the early 1970s.
Some say he was lucky to be selected for the 1968 Olympics because he had to pull out of that year's ABA middleweight division with a cut eye in a preliminary round and normally only the champion gets selected for the British team in Olympic year but the selectors felt the new champion Peter McCann was not as experienced as Finnegan, the 1966 champion.
Finnegan proved his critics wrong and overcame three tough opponents in Mexico City in Mate Parlov of Yugoslavia in the quarter-final, American Al Jones in the semi and the Russian Alexsei Kisalov in the final, gaining a 3-2 majority verdict from the judges. Quarter-final opponent Mate Parlov was later the WBC light-heavyweight world champion.
Finnegan nearly missed the Olympics because he was due to appear at Slough Magistrates on an unpaid National Insurance Stamp charge. The Magistrate asked him when he could pay and he said it would be at least five weeks because he was off to the Olympic Games. The Magistrate could have ended his ambitions but, instead, he told him to pay the outstanding money when he returned and wished him all the best in his quest for a gold medal
Shortly after his Olympic success Finnegan turned professional and moved up a division to light-heavyweight and captured the British, Commonwealth and European titles. But his one crack at the word title in 1972 ended in a 14th round knockout by the defending champion Bob Foster of America who was probably one of the all-time greatest light-heavyweights. The contest was the coveted Ring magazine's 'Fight of the Year'.
Finnegan lost all three of his titles in 1972, with the British and Commonwealth titles being taken by John Conteh, who went on to capture the world title that had eluded Finnegan.
Finnegan managed to regain his British title against Johnny Frankham in 1975 but it turned out to be his last fight as a detached retina of the eye forced Finnegan's retirement in 1975.
Finnegan's brother Kevin was also a professional boxer and held the British and European middleweight titles and was well known for three close battles with Alan Minter.
Chris Finnegan, the former bricklayer who became an MBE, died in 2009 following spells of both ill health and financial difficulties. Younger brother Kevin died less than five months before him.
A friend who rang to offer condolences to Chris after Kevin's death was shocked when Chris said he would not be attending his brother's funeral. "I've got the right f****** hump with him, and I won't be going," said Chris. When the friend said: "Why, you were so close?" Finnegan came back with the response. "Because he won't be going to mine!"
Finnegan's gold medal was Britain's last boxing gold medallist until Audley Harrison at Sydney 32 years later.
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Born: 29 February 1884, Edmonton, London
Died: 23 July 1964, Ilford, Essex, England
Olympics competed in: 2 (1908, 1920)
Olympic medals: 1908 - Gold (Lightweight)
A member of the Eton Mission Boxing Club, Fred Grace was a skilful boxer with quick footwork and those skills helped him to win seven out of eight competitions in 1907, they year before he won his Olympic gold medal.
Grace won the Olympic gold by beating Fred Spiller on points in the final but his greatest triumph was in beating Matt Wells in the quarter-final when he was the underdog. Wells had won four consecutive ABA titles going into the Olympics and was clear favourite for the title but Grace had other ideas.
Wells later went on to hold the British and European professional lightweight titles, and British and Commonwealth Welterweight titles.
Grace, in comparison, never turned professional but did go on to win four ABA lightweight titles, in 1909, 1913, 1919 and 1920. He also competed in his second Olympics in 1920 - he would have competed in 1912 when he was at his prime, but boxing was banned in the host country, Sweden. Sadly, he could not make it to a medal position in 1920 finishing joint fifth.
A heating and ventilating engineer by trade Fred Grace was tragically killed in 1964 at the age of 80 when he as struck by a car in Ilford not far from his home at Goodmayes in Essex.
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GUNN, Richard Kenneth
Born: 16 February 1871, Charing Cross, London
Died: 23 June 1961, Lambeth, London
Olympics competed in: 1 (1908)
Olympic medals: 1908 - Gold (Featherweight)
The son of a Scottish-born tailor, Richard Gunn was just short of his 38th birthday when he won his Olympic title in 1908, making him the oldest man to win an Olympic boxing gold medal.
A member of the Surrey Commercial Docks Boxing Club, he was a printer at the time of his Olympic success and his vast experience helped him to victory over the younger and more enthusiastic Charley Morris in the featherweight final, taking the verdict on points. In the semi-final Gunn beat Tom Ringer, the 1908 ABA champions and member of Gunn's former club, Lynn Boxing Club.
Gunn came out of retirement in 1908 to fight at the Olympics having previously called it a day after his third successive ABA title in 1896 after the authorities asked him to retire because he was so superior to all other fighters in his class at the time, He later served on the ABA Council before returning to the ring.
Gunn had a tough upbringing as he was orphaned at an early age along with his younger brother and sister, Fergus and Christina. They went to the Caledonian Asylum, a home and place of education for orphaned children of Scottish parents living in London.
Gunn died in 1961 at the age of 90.
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Born: 26 October 1971, Harlesden, London
Olympics competed in: 1 (2000)
Olympic medals: 2000 - Gold (Super-heavyweight)
When he won the super-heavyweight gold medal at Sydney in 2000, Audley Harrison became the first Briton to win the heaviest weight division at the Olympics since Ron Rawson in 1920, and the first British Olympic gold medallist in any division since Chris Finnegan in 1968.
Harrison did not start boxing seriously until he was 19 when his brother Rodney introduced him to the Northolt boxing gym. He later joined the Repton Amateur Boxing Club in Bethnal Green and with them Harrison was the ABA super-heavyweight champion in 1997 and 1998, he was also the Commonwealth Games champion in the second of those years.
Harrison sustained a knuckle injury during the Olympic campaign in 2000 and fought under immense pain in the final bout against Mukhtarkhan Dildabekov of Kazakhstan but came out on top with a 30-16 points win. He was out of boxing for nearly a year with that knuckle injury but in 2001, after receiving the MBE, he turned professional with a £1 million sponsorship deal from the BBC who agreed to broadcast his first ten fights.
But how different Audley Harrison's life could have been.
As a youngster he was involved in a life of crime on the Stonebridge Estate in Harlesden and he was eventually sentenced to three years for robbery, ending up in Feltham Young Offenders Institute at the age of 17. But, instead of returning to his former life of hanging around with the wrong crowd, he put his time in prison to good use by taking up boxing and educating himself (he had been expelled from two schools). And on his release he went to London's Brunel University where he eventually attained a degree in Sports Science and Leisure Management, whilst at the same time keeping down three jobs and rising to the top of the amateur boxing tree.
Harrison had 38 professional bouts, winning 31 with 23 of them being knockouts. He won the WBF heavyweight title in 2004 and made two defences before relinquishing the title. His next championship fight was in 2005 against Danny Williams for the vacant Commonwealth heavyweight title but it resulted in the first defeat for Harrison in his professional career.
In April 2010 he beat Michael Sprott to land the European heavyweight title and six months later he was beaten in three rounds by arch rival David Haye at the MEN Arena for the WBA heavyweight title in what was the lowest point in Harrison's boxing career.
After a couple of retirements, Harrison had his last fight in April 2013 but the referee stopped the fight in the first round and the defeat resulted in Harrison calling it a day once more ... watch this space!
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JOSHUA, Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni
Born: 15 October 1989, Watford, Hertfordshire, England
Olympics competed in: 1 (2012)
Olympic medals: 2012 - Gold (Men's Super-heavyweight)
Born in Watford to Nigerian parents, Anthony Joshua only started boxing at the age of 18 when he joined the Finchley ABC. Just 18 fights later he was the 2010 ABA super-heavyweight champion - a title he regained the following year.
In 2011 he came close to making it a memorable year because in the World Amateur Championships in Azerbaijan he was beaten in the super-heavyweight final by just one point, 22-21, by local favourite Magomedrasul Majidov. Not surprising, Joshua was named the British Amateur Boxer of the Year for 2011 by the Boxing Writers Club of Great Britain.
That world championship disappointment was compensated for in 2012 when he became the Olympic super-heavyweight champion, but he had to fight hard for the title.
A tough draw pitched him against some classy opponents, including the world number four, Erislandy Savon of Cuba. But he beat Savon by a single point and had slightly easier wins over his next two opponents on his way to the final against the reigning Olympic champion and two times former world champion, Italian police officer Roberto Cammarelle.
Joshua had beaten the Italian on his way to the world final the previous year but Cammarelle's experience told in the first round at the ExCel Exhibition Centre as he edged it by one point. The Italian had moved to three points clear going into the third and final round but Joshua fought his way back into contention and the scores ended up all square at 18-all. The bout was awarded to Joshua on a countback. The Italians protested, naturally, but were unsuccessful in their appeal and Cammarelle's chances of becoming the first man since the legendary Teofilio Stevenson of Cuba to retain the top weight division at the Olympics had gone.
Anthony Joshua was awarded the MBE in the 2013 New Year's Honours List and in July that year he turned professional with Matchroom Sport.
He made his professional debut at the O2 Arena in October 2013 and nearly had the distinction of knocking out two men in the first round! As he was landing a blow to the head of his previously undefeated opponent, Italy's Emanuele Leo, he also struck the referee Ian John Lewis with the same punch. Fortunately for Joshua, the referee could take the punch - unlike Leo who was stopped in the first round.
When asked to define his ambitions shortly after his professional debut Joshua said: "Boxing has made me a better person. I want to keep learning and by seizing my opportunity give back by showing other poor kids how they can improve and succeed."
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Born: 15 October 1935, Dundee, Scotland
Olympics competed in: 3 (1956, 1960, 1964)
1956 - Gold (Lightweight)
1960 - Bronze (Lightweight)
Coming from a family of 18, Dick McTaggart was an RAF boxing champion while serving his National Service in the 1950s. Two of his brothers were also services champions so the McTaggart boys were not ones to pick a fight with in Dundee in those days
Dick was a cook in the RAF when he won the 1956 ABA lightweight title which gained "Dandy Dick", as he was nicknamed, selection to the Great Britain team for the Olympics on Melbourne later that year.
He reached the final after three fairly comfortable bouts but was made to fight for his gold medal by the German Harry Kurschat, but the Scot ran out the victor on points. In addition, McTaggart became the first and so far only Briton to win the coveted Val Barker Trophy for being the most stylish boxer of the Olympic Games.
When he finished his National Service, McTaggart received numerous offers to turn professional, buy declined them all and got a job, first of all as a pest control consultant and then spent many years working at Rolls Royce
The most outstanding amateur lightweight of his day, McTaggart won the ABA title again in 1958 and also won the gold medal at that year's Commonwealth Games in Cardiff.
A third ABA title followed in 1960 and a second Olympic medal came that year in Rome when he was beaten in the semi-final by the eventual champion Kazimierz Pazdzior of Poland. McTaggart also had the honour of being the first and, so far, only boxer to be the British team flag bearer at vthe Olympics. The following year McTaggart beat Petar Benedek of Yugoslavia to win the European amateur lightweight title.
At the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth, Australia, McTaggart had moved up a division to light-welterweight but he could only win the silver medal after losing to Clement Quartey of Ghana in the final. A year later McTaggart won a fourth ABA title, at his new weight.
In 1964 Dick McTaggart became the first and only British boxer to compete in three Olympics but, unlike his two previous appearances, he returned home without a medal. The following year when, at the age of 30, it seemed like his illustrious career was coming to an end, he won a fifth ABA title but then shortly did hang up his gloves.
After retiring he maintained contact with the sport he served for so long, and in 1990 he was the Honorary Director of Coaching of the Scottish team at the Commonwealth Games.
McTaggart received one of the greatest accolades that can be bestowed upon a boxer when, in 2000, he was inducted into the Boxing International Hall of Fame, and two years later he was inducted into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame. He was also honoured with an MBE.
A true British Olympic legend, McTaggart won 610 of 634 amateur bouts yet sadly he was not invited to attend the 2012 Olympic Games in London by the British Olympic Association, a decision which hurt McTaggart. They said he could pay to enter a draw for tickets but could not guarantee one for the boxing competition!
However, the London Ex-Boxers Association stepped in and flew McTaggart to London where he was presented to the crowd before the lightweight final. A fitting tribute indeed even though Lord Coe and his committee should have thought about doing it.
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MALLIN, Henry William "Harry"
Born: 1 June 1892, Shoreditch, London
Died: 8 November 1969, Lewisham, London
Olympics competed in: 2 (1920, 1924)
1920 - Gold (Middleweight)
1924 - Gold (Middleweight)
One of eight children, and the son of a London-born glass beveller, Harry Mallin had a brief spell as a store keeper for a wooden flooring company before serving the Metropolitan force for 37 years. In between his job as a police officer, he managed to carve out an outstanding amateur boxing career in which he never lost in more than 300 bouts. He never turned professional.
He was the ABA middleweight champion five successive years 1919-23 and was the world amateur middleweight champion in 1920 and 1928. The first of his two Olympic titles came in 1920 when beat Canadian Art Prud'homme on points. The French-Canadian Prud'homme went into the final having knocked out all three of his opponents on his way to the final.
In 1921 Mallin was a member of the British team who had a memorable 4-0 win over a team of American amateurs at the International Sporting Club New York. Mallin was without doubt the greatest middleweight amateur boxer at home and abroad in the 1920s.
He went to Paris to defend his Olympic title in 1924 and in the quarter-final against local hero Roger Brousse, Mallin did enough to win the contest but the decision went to the Frenchman. However the British team complained the Brousse had bitten Mallin and it was not until the next day that the decision was overturned upon the Frenchman's disqualification. Teeth marks on Mallin's chest and arm confirmed the Bousse's illegal tactics.
Mallin went on to the final where he fought and beat the reigning ABA champion, and fellow Londoner, Jack Elliott on points. Mallin was booed throughout the final by the home French fans who were still furious that their man was disqualified for biting Mallin - what did they expect?
Harry Mallin became the first man ever to succdssfully defend an Olympic boxing title and he remains the only Briton to win two boxing gold medals. It was Mallin's last fight before retirement.
Harry's younger brother Fred fought at the 1928 Olympics and was the last surviving Briton in the boxing events, reaching the semi-finals and then losing the third place contest to the Belgian middleweight Léonard Steyaert. Like his brother, Fred also won five consecutive ABA middleweight titles 1928-32, and he was also the 1930 Commonwealth Games champion.
After his retirement from the ring, Harry served on the ABA as a coach and official and was manager of the British Olympic teams in 1936 and 1952. He had a minor stroke in 1965 on the eve of an international contest between England and Germany, and subsequently suffered from ill health until his death at a Lewisham nursing home in 1969.
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MITCHELL, Henry James "Harry"
Born: 16 November 1895, Hoxton, Shoreditch, England
Died: 8 February 1983, Twickenham, London
Olympics competed in: 1 (1924)
Olympic medals: 1924 - Gold (Light-heavyweight)
A member of the famous London Polytechnic Boxing Club, Harry Mitchell won the 1924 Olympic light-heavyweight gold medal by beating Thyge Petersen of Denmark in a disappointing final. The Dane wanted to fight from close quarters and hung on to Mitchell throughout most of the contest. But the Briton came out on top on points.
Mitchell went into the Olympics as the three times ABA champion, having won the light-heavy division in 1922, 1923 and 1924. He made it four in a row in 1925 and it would be 70 years before any man emulated this feat, when Kelly Oliver won four consecutive light-heavyweight titles between 1992-95.
One of nine children and the son of publican Alfred Mitchell, who was the one time landlord of the Freemasons Hotel in Wandsworth Common, Harry Mitchell never turned professional. He died at a Twickenham old people's home in 1983 aged 87.
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OLDMAN, Albert Leonard
Born: 18 November 1883, Mile End, London
Died: 15 January 1961, Upminster, Essex
Olympics competed in: 1 (1908)
Olympic medals: 1908 - Gold (Heavyweight)
City of London policeman, and London police heavyweight champion, Albert Oldman won the 1908 Olympic heavyweight title after two first round knockouts on the way to the final.
In his first contest he knocked out fellow Briton Ian Myrams in less than a minute and after receiving a bye into the final he knocked out the reigning ABA champion, Syd Evans of Reading, following some ferocious blows to his opponent's head. That contest lasted less than two minutes which means that Oldman won his gold medal without boxing the equivalent of a single round! In all fairness to Evans, he received a shoulder injury in his semi-final win over Frank Parks.
Before joining the police, Oldman served as a member of the Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) and was an escort to King Edward VII. He later went on boxing tours along with Jack Johnson and Gentleman Jim Corbett, and whilst in Australia he set up a boxing school. He returned to Britain after the outbreak of World War One.
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RAWSON, Ronald Rawson
Born: 17 June 1892, Kensington, London
Died: 30 March 1952, Kensington, London
Olympics competed in: 1 (1920)
Olympic medals: 1920 - Gold (Heavyweight)
No, it is not a typing error, Ron Rawson's full name was Ronald Rawson Rawson ...
He was educated at Westminster School and then Cambridge University. An all-round sportsman he was the school cricket captain but when he went to Cambridge he turned his attentions to boxing and he won the heavyweight contest in the Varsity match in 1913 and the following year he went on to win the light-heavyweight division.
Rawson served in the Great War with the Royal Engineers and in 1917 he was awarded the Military Cross and two years later he had two bars added to it, by which time he was a Captain.
A member of the famous Polytechnic Boxing Club he had a big impact on the future and growth of the club after the war.
He joined the club when he came out of the Army in 1919 and in less than three months he was the ABA heavyweight champion. A further four months later and Ron Rawson was the Olympic heavyweight champion after he knocked out the Dane Søren Petersen in two rounds. The Dane was to also lose in the 1924 final on points. Rawson was a hard hitting heavyweight and he stopped all three of his opponents at the Antwerp Olympics.
Rawson was the ABA champion again in 1921 and retired shortly afterwards but his success had motivated so many kids in the area that the membership of the Polytechnic Club had swelled to over 700 by 1923. And such was the reputation of the club that HRH the Prince of Wales visited the club in 1923.
Rawson had 28 bouts, winning all and 27 with knockouts or stoppages. Like his father before him, he was an engineer by trade. He died in 1952, aged 59 and was survived by his wife Freda whom Rawson married in 1922 - and re-married in 1945!
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Born: 28 February 1938, West Ham, London
Died: 26 April, 2012, Chadwell Heath, Barking & Dagenham, London
Olympics competed in: 1 (1956)
Olympic medals: 1956 - Gold (Flyweight)
Terry Spinks was an East Ham boy who was raised in Canning Town and fought for the West Ham Amateur Boxing Club, which also produced world champion Nigel Benn. However, he always wanted to be a jockey, because of his size, and whilst serving as a stable lad he took part in a stable lads boxing competition and he soon got hooked on his new sport.
He won an English schoolboys title and followed that in 1956 at the age of 18 by winning the ABA flyweight title, which led to selection for the 1956 British Olympic team, although there was some who thought he should not have been selected because of his youthful looks as he only looked about 12!
However, he travelled to Melbourne, and after four wins he was up against the hard-hitting Romanian Mircea Dobrescu in the final but Spinks was too classy for him and he won on points. And at aged 18 he was Britain's youngest ever Olympic boxing champion. At the time of his call up to the British Olympic team, Spinks was working as a binman.
Shortly after the Olympics he turned professional at the age of 19, having his first bout at Harringay Arena on 9 April 1957. Three years later he won his first British featherweight title by beating Bobby Neil. Having retained his title in a re-match against Neil, he then lost his title to the polished Welshman Howard Winstone in 1961.
Spinks never fought for the title again and he eventually hung up his gloves after his final bought in December 1962, winning against Johnny Mantle. It was the 41st win of his 49 professional contests. He was only 24 at the time and despite not fighting for Commonwealth, European or World titles he was at the time of his death in 2012, the only man to win Schoolboy, ABA, British and Olympic titles.
Spinks later became a trainer and was coach to the South Korean team at the 1972 Munich Olympics and it was Spinks who raised the alert when he saw members of the Black September movement heading towards the Israeli athletes headquarters.
Spinks was honoured with an MBE in the 2002 New Year's Honours List - 45 years after his Olympic success. In 2013 the late Terry Spinks was honured with naming of a street, Terry Spinks Place, after him in Canning Town where he was brought up.
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THOMAS, Albert Henry "Harry"
Born: 1 July 1888, Kings Norton, Worcestershire, England
Died: 13 January 1963, New York, United States
Olympics competed in: 1908 (London)
Olympic medals: 1908 - Gold (Bantamweight)
Harry Thomas was the lightest of the five British boxing gold medallists at the 1908 London Olympics, winning the bantamweight title.
Thomas only fought two bouts on his way to winning the gold medal. He beat fellow Briton Frank McGurk, the reigning Scottish champion in his first match and then had a bye through to the final where he beat another Briton, Londoner Johnny Condon on points after a tough contest, and one that was regarded as the best contest of the Olympic tournament.
Thomas went into the Olympics as the holder of the ABA bantamweight title, having previously won the Midlands title. He was the only reigning ABA champion to win a gold medal at the 1908 Olympics. Condon, the man Thomas beat in the Olympic final succeeded Thomas as ABA bantamweight champion in 1909.
The year after his Olympic success Thomas turned professional and stopped Albert Wallins in the first round at the Queen's Hall, Birmingham. In the Spring of 1911 Thomas went to live in America and it was there, and in Australia, that he had most of his 35 professional contests. He retired in 1916 and the following year, being an American citizen, he served in the US Navy during World War One.
All of Harry's brothers served in the British Army during the first World War and one of them, Bill, won a DCM, and like Harry, was also a boxing professional between 1924-39.
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