Lionel Rose - R.I.P

AUSTRALIAN boxing great LIONEL ROSE has died aged 62.
lionel.jpg, 32kB (21/06/1948 - 07/05/2011)
He had been ill for several months. The bantamweight champion had 53 fights for 42 wins and was one of Australia's greatest sporting legends. His close friend Jeff Fenech was shattered when told of his passing last night. "Lionel was not only a great fighter but a wonderful human being,"
" Fenech said, "He was an absolute legend and I was honoured to know him as a friend." Rose's wife Jenny was too upset to talk when contacted. Rose beat Fighting Harada in 1968 to take the world bantamweight title and in doing so became the first Aboriginal to win a world title. On his return to Australia with the title belt, he was greeted by more than 100,000 people outside Melbourne's Town Hall. Rose was made Australian of the Year that same year. His death makes it a bitter-sweet day for Australian boxing, coming on the day Daniel Geale became only the fourth Australian boxer to win a world title overseas. Rose was born into poverty at Jackson's Track, near Warragul in country Victoria on June 21 1948 and started boxing aged 10. By 15 he was the Australian amateur flyweight champion. Four years later he was world champion.