A key part of this website is to catalogue and give context to photographs, documents and other archival objects that help to represent Merseyside's rich boxing heritage.
The entire database can be searched from this page. Enjoy exploring our archive, and if you have any images or memorabilia you would like to contribute we would be very pleased to hear from you.
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born: 09/08/1932, Lagos, Nigeria died: 2002
Emmanuel Olu Fumilola Babarinsa took up boxing aged eight. Turning professional in 1949, he changed his name, and in 1952 he moved to Liverpool, and became a favourite at the Liverpool Stadium. Mick Leahy, who had fought an admittedly fading Sugar Ray Robinson, rated Manuel the best boxer he had ever faced. At the age of 21, Manuel moved up from lightweight to welterweight. However, despite or (more likely) because of the fact that he was ranked in the world's top 10, many boxers refused to fight him, so he never fought for the title that his talent merited. As a result, Manuel retired aged just 28: two years later, he tried to make a comeback, but the BBBofC told him he was to old to renew his licence - in later years, Manuel asked the Board for financial help when he was suffering from arthritis, and it inexplicably refused to acknowledge that he had ever been a professional boxer. In retirment, Manuel became the secretary of the Merseyside Former Boxers Association, a position he held until his death.