In one of the best fights to be seen in Melbourne, Australia, for many years, South Africa's Blakeney Mathews won on points over the former World Bantamweight Champion, Lionel Rose, of Australia.
In one of the best fights to be seen in Melbourne, Australia, for many years, South Africa's Blakeney Mathews won on points over the former World Bantamweight Champion, Lionel Rose, of Australia. It was Rose's second fight in his attempt to make a come-back to big-time boxing.
The fight was staged on an improvised boxing ring set on pontoons in the Olympic Swimming pool on Saturday (30 August). Many of the officials and V.I.P.s controlling the fight, watched it from speed boats in the pool.
Rose fought well enough to persuade one of the judges to score a draw, while the others gave the decision to Mathews by the narrowest margin. Though the result was close, it must nevertheless deal a serious blow to Rose's prospect of a successful come-back.
Rose is keen for an early re-match, and is reported to be negotiating for a fight on the Mohammed Ali-Joe Frazier bill in Manila on the first of next month.
The four thousand spectators who watched the fight obviously enjoyed what they saw, and the contestants received warm applause at the end of each round. Rose was still able to call on some of his old skills, helped somewhat by the extra weight he is carrying.
In March 1969, Rose - in one of his last major fights - successfully defended his World Title against the British contender, Alan Rudkin. Rose was only the second World title holder to come from Australia. The first was Jimmy Carruthers in 1952 - he too won at bantamweight.