The Australian boxing community is in mourning after legendary fighter Johnny Famechon died, aged 77.
Famechon, who was born in Paris, migrated to Australia at the age of five and went on to win a world title in 1969 in a stunning professional career.
He became Lineal and WBC featherweight champion after he defeated the Cuban José Legrá on points at the Albert Hall in London.
He defended his title against Fighting Harada of Japan in a controversial points decision and then in the rematch in Japan six months later, Famechon decisively won by knocking Harada out in the 14th round in his most famous win.
He defended his WBC title in May 1970 in Rome to Mexican Vicente Saldivar and won 56 of his 67 professional fights.
His achievements remain revered and in 2012 Famechon was elevated to Legend status in the Australian National Boxing Hall of Fame.
He was also inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1997.
His life was turned around in 1991 when he was hit by a car in Sydney. The incident caused a stroke and resulted in an acquired brain injury.
Two years after the accident he started a special rehabilitation program that returned him to near full health. His fight to return to full health showed he did not leave his fighting spirit in the ring.
Fellow world champion Jeff Fenech said he received a Christmas card from the featherweight champion every year.
“He lived a great life,’’ Fenech told 2GB’s Ben Fordham.
“He never failed to send me a Christmas card and every time I saw him we would laugh and joke. He was such a beautiful man. On top of his legendary boxing record as a human he was second to none.
“He was the perfect boxing chess match player. He would hit but he never got hit. After his accident everything was about living life to the full.’’
Famechon has a bronze statue in his home town of Frankston in Victoria and was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours for significant service to boxing at the elite level.