Johnny Owen

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Johnny Owen statue in Merthyr Tydfil.

John Richard Owens (7 January 1956 – 4 November 1980), better known as Johnny Owen, was a Welsh professional boxer. He was born in Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan. He was nicknamed "The Merthyr Matchstick" (after his hometown and size) and "The Matchstick Man" (also after his size). He turned pro in 1976. He boxed as a bantamweight. He held the bantamweight championship titles in Great Britain and Europe. Before his final bout, he had a record of 25 wins (11 by knockout), one loss and one draw. Owen's only loss was against Spaniard Juan Francisco Rodríguez in 1979. He later beat Rodríguez in rematch in February 1980.[1]

On 19 September 1980, Owen went up against Mexican Lupe Pintor at the Grand Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles in the U.S. state of California. He fought hard but was knocked out by Pintor in the 12th round, giving victory to the Mexican. Despite surgery, Owen went into a coma and never regained consciousness. He died seven weeks later on 4 November 1980, at the age of 24.[2]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Juan Francisco Rodríguez". BoxRec. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  2. Johnes, Martin (2011). "Stories of a Post-industrial Hero: The Death of Johnny Owen". Sport in History 31 (4): 443–463. doi:10.1080/17460263.2011.646832. https://www.academia.edu/1800300/Stories_of_a_Post-industrial_Hero_The_Death_of_Johnny_Owen. 

Other websites[change | change source]