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Episode 1491             Episode 1493
Episode 1492

Johnny Owen
Sat, 2021-Jun-05 02:00 UTC
Length - 3:06

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Saturday, 5 June 2021 is Johnny Owen.

John Richard Owens (7 January 1956 – 4 November 1980) was a Welsh professional boxer who fought under the name Johnny Owen. His seemingly fragile appearance earned him many epithets, including the "Merthyr Matchstick" and the "Bionic Bantam". He began boxing at the age of eight and undertook a long amateur career, competing in more than 120 fights and representing Wales in competitions. He turned professional in September 1976 at the age of 20, winning his debut bout against George Sutton. Owen beat Sutton again in his sixth professional fight to win his first title, the vacant bantamweight title in the Welsh Area.

Owen challenged for the British bantamweight title in his tenth professional fight in 1977. He defeated champion Paddy Maguire in the eleventh round to win the title, becoming the first Welshman in more than 60 years to hold the belt. Owen recorded five further victories, including a defence of his British title against Wayne Evans, before meeting Paul Ferreri for the Commonwealth bantamweight title. He defeated the experienced Australian on points to claim the Commonwealth title and challenged Juan Francisco Rodríguez for the European title four months later. The fight in Almería, Spain, was shrouded in controversy and Owen suffered his first defeat in a highly contentious decision.

Owen went on to win seven consecutive bouts within a year to rechallenge Rodríguez in February 1980. He avenged his earlier defeat by beating Rodríguez on points to win the European title. He challenged World Boxing Council (WBC) champion Lupe Pintor for his world bantamweight title on 19 September 1980, losing the contest by way of a twelfth round knockout after being knocked down for the third time. Owen left the ring on a stretcher and never regained consciousness. He fell into a coma and died seven weeks later in a Los Angeles hospital at the age of 24.

Owen possessed a professional career record of 25 wins (11 by knockout), 1 draw and 2 defeats. His only career losses came against Rodríguez and Pintor. He remains revered in the South Wales Valleys where he was raised, particularly in his hometown of Merthyr Tydfil where a statue commemorating his life and career was unveiled in 2002.





This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 02:00 UTC on Saturday, 5 June 2021.

For the full current version of the article, see Johnny Owen on Wikipedia.

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