John Conteh is a British former boxer who was world light-heavyweight boxing champion.
He is one of Britains most successful boxing champions. At his peak in the mid to late 1970s he was considered good enough that he was touted as a possible opponent of Muhammad Ali.
He enjoyed great fame in Britain and was often on the front as well as the back pages of the leading dailies due to his love of partying and women.
At 19 he won the middleweight gold medal at the 1970 British Commonwealth Games. He won the WBC Light Heavyweight crown in October 1974 and held the title until 1978 when he was stripped for not going through with a mandated defense.
He was the loser on points over fifteen rounds to the Croatian fighter Mate Parlov in an attempt to regain the title. He failed twice in further efforts to win back his old crown in 1979 and then again seven months later in 1980 – both against the American Matthew Saad Mohammed.
He retired from professional boxing in 1980. His professional record is 34 wins and 1 draw and 4 losses.
In 1973 John was one of the celebrities featured dressed in prison gear on the front cover of the Wings Album Band on the Run.
John also has the distinction of being British Superstars competition champion in 1974 the second year of the televised sporting event.
He appeared on the BBC television program Sporting Legends which was presented by Eamonn Holmes.
On the show John spoke at length at how he started out in the fight game and how Ali persuaded him to fight at Light-Heavyweight instead of Heavyweight as Ali believed that John was too small to be a heavyweight.
John has now carved out a successful career as a Show Business Personality and After Dinner Speaker.
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