born: 27/05/1951, Toxteth, Liverpool
John Conteh is Liverpool's most successful boxer. Turning professional in 1971, Conteh was at first a heavyweight, as that was then, as now, the most lucrative division, but it soon became apparent that his build was more suitable to light-heavyweight. In his first professional contest at that weight, he beat Rudiger Schmidtke to become European champion, and then outpointed Chris Finnegan for the British and Commonwealth crowns. His crowning glory came in 1974, when he beat Jorge Ahumada of Argentina to become WBC world champion. Thereafter, Conteh was embroiled in contractual disputes, one of which cost him his world title in 1976 when he refused to face Miguel Cuello: in 1978, Conteh lost a controversial split decision in Belgrade against Yugoslavia's Mate Parlov, who had taken the title from Cuello. He lost another world title bout the following year, this time against Matthew Saad Muhammad in Atlantic City, lost to the same opponent in the rematch the following year and retired. He then became a commentator and after-dinner speaker.
Programme Cover for World Title Fight
Programme cover for the world light-heavyweight title fight between John Conteh and Len Hutchins at the Liverpool Stadium on 5 March 1977.
⊕ Programme Cover for World Title Fight
⊕ Conteh v Hutchins