Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Australian Boxing Legend Johnny Famechon Dies Aged 77

Former featherweight boxing world champion Johnny Famechon has died in Melbourne, Australia after a lengthy illness.

Nicknamed “poetry in motion” for his silky skills within the ring, Famechon’s boxing career spanned over two decades and saw him record 56 wins—including 20 by knockout—six draws and five losses. His most notable victory came against Cuban Jose Legra in 1969, where he won the WBC featherweight title by decision.

Six months after becoming champ, Famechon successfully defended his title against Japan’s Masahiko Harada, better known as Fighting Harada. That win came via a controversial points decision, and when the duo met in a rematch just months later in Tokyo, Johnny knocked out Harada in the fourteenth round.

Soon after losing his title to Mexican Vicente Saldivar in 1970, Famechon retired from boxing aged just 24. He was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985.

Famechon Faced His Greatest Fight After Retirement

Some two decades after his retirement in 1991, Famechon was hit by a car while jogging in Sydney, Australia, which resulted in an acquired brain injury and caused him to suffer a stroke. In 1993, the then 58-year-old commenced an intensive brain-based multi-movement therapy which after 12 weeks resulted in Famechon returning to a near normal life.

Famechon’s death has elicited tributes from his Australian boxing peers, including former three-division world champion Jeff Fenech.

“He was beautiful to watch, just so skillful,” Fenech told the Sydney Morning Herald. “He was like Floyd Mayweather, one of those guys who hit and never got hit.”

Sport Australia Hall of Fame chairman John Bertrand also paid tribute to Famechon’s legacy as one of the greatest boxers in history.

“Johnny Famechon was one of the most popular Australian boxers of all time,” John said. “Johnny was our humble, skillful world champion, showing the essence of how we see our heroes. He was described as poetry in motion, a master craftsman.”

Johnny Famechon
PHOTO: Julie Kiriacoudis

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