Sport

Johnny Famechon, Australian boxing world champion, dies aged 77

Australian former featherweight world champion Johnny Famechon has died in Melbourne at the age of 77.

The boxer’s most memorable victory was his world title win against the Cuban José Legrá at London’s Albert Hall in 1969.

Famechon was inducted into the Australian National Boxing Hall of Fame in 2003 and was the third to be elevated to legend status in 2012.

Born Jean-Pierre Famechon in France in 1945, he moved to Australia with his family at the age of five.

He boxed professionally for more than 20 years for 56 wins, six draws and five defeats.

Famechon twice successfully defended his WBC featherweight title against Fighting Harada of Japan, first winning in a controversial points decision, then knocking out his opponent in round 14 six months later.

He lost the title in May 1970, going down in a close points decision in Rome to the Mexican Vicente Saldivar, and retired soon after at the age of 24.

Famechon, who never fought as an amateur, was trained by the professional prize fighter and leading Australian rules footballer Ambrose Palmer.

In 1991 Famechon suffered a stroke and a brain injury after being hit by a car in Sydney.

He was made a member of the Order of Australia in this year’s Queen’s birthday honours.