Tributes flow for Australian boxing legend Johnny Famechon

Aug 04, 2022
Famechon enjoyed a series of career highlights that cemented his status as a prominent boxing identity. Source: Getty Images.

The Australian sporting community is in mourning following the passing of boxing legend Johnny Famechon at the age of 77 on Thursday, August 4.

Born March 28, 1945, in Paris, Famechon moved to Australia with his family at the age of 5 where he would discover his love of boxing and build his professional sporting career.

Despite retiring from the sport of boxing at the young age of 25, Famechon enjoyed a series of career highlights that cemented his status as a prominent boxing identity.

Famechon’s first boxing victory came when he defeated Les Dunn to become Victorian Featherweight champion in 1964.

He won the title of Commonwealth featherweight champion in 1967 after defeating the Scot John O’Brien and became Lineal and WBC featherweight champion on 21 January 1969 after he defeated the Cuban José Legrá on points at the Albert Hall in London.

A controversial points decision meant he retained his WBC featherweight title when he went up against Japan’s Fighting Harada.

Six months later Famechon went head to head against Harada again in a rematch and won by knockout in the 14th round.

After losing to Mexico’s Vicente Saldivar in a points decision in 1970 while defending his WBC title, Famechon retired from the sport of boxing not long after.

Following his retirement, Famechon was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985 and the World Boxing Hall of Fame in Los Angeles in 1997. Tragically he suffered an acquired brain injury after he was struck by a car in Sydney in 1991.

Following the news of Famechon’s passing, tributes from across the sporting community began to pour in.

Former world champion Jeff Fenech told 2GB Radio, “as a human, he was second to none. He was such a beautiful man”.

ABC Sportscaster Corbin Middlemas called Famechon “one of the greatest pure boxers” in Australia.

WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman said he was “sorry to learn of the passing” of Famechon.

Aus-boxing.com also offered their condolences to “boxing royalty”.

Tributes for the boxing legend were not only confined to the sporting community as countless fans took to social media to remember Famechon.

Due to his significant service to boxing at an elite level, Famechon was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia as part of the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

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