View Full Version : Joe Bugner


mickey malone
06-16-2009, 01:21 AM
I've just got back from holiday/vacation...
I was fortunate enough to be staying in the same hotel as Joes stepson (from his second marriage) A charming fellow, with whom (for obvious reasons) I soon became familiarly acquainted..
After spending just one or two lazy drunken nights discussing his career in full detail, he was kind enough to surprise me (as well as proving to be totally genuine) by getting 'the old man' to send me a brilliant signed photo of him fighting Joe Frazier at Earls Court in 1973..
This was a really nice touch and has inevitably compelled me to write a thread..
JB was always a controversal character throughout his career, & I would welcome any correspondence regarding those with knowledge, & maybe a few things I don't know about the oldest man ever to win the WBF HW title..
I think all in all, he was too nice a guy to unleash his full potential..
What do you guys think?

GJC
06-16-2009, 08:06 AM
I've just got back from holiday/vacation...
I was fortunate enough to be staying in the same hotel as Joes stepson (from his second marriage) A charming fellow, with whom (for obvious reasons) I soon became familiarly acquainted..
After spending just one or two lazy drunken nights discussing his career in full detail, he was kind enough to surprise me (as well as proving to be totally genuine) by getting 'the old man' to send me a brilliant signed photo of him fighting Joe Frazier at Earls Court in 1973..
This was a really nice touch and has inevitably compelled me to write a thread..
JB was always a controversal character throughout his career, & I would welcome any correspondence regarding those with knowledge, & maybe a few things I don't know about the oldest man ever to win the WBF HW title..
I think all in all, he was too nice a guy to unleash his full potential..
What do you guys think?
Bugner for me was such a disappointment he had all the gifts IMO but never really fulfilled them. I saw the Frazier fight live and he gave a great account of himself and whilst his 2 fights with Ali was as probably as boring a 2 fights as you will ever see Bugner never looked unduly troubled and you did wonder if he had decided to be a little more adventorous what might have happened. I think as far as UK fans were concerned his popularity never recovered from beating Cooper in that close and contraversial fight. In my opinion I think Gibbs scored it correctly it was close but Bugner deserved the nod. I have a recollection that he killed an opponent early in his career so maybe that had something to do with his lack of agression, he wouldn't be the first to be affected by that. The only time I ever saw him with a real killer instinct was the night he fought Richard Dunn, an admitidly limited opponent.
I think to summarise Bugner never seemed to have a great love of boxingand not much heart and seemed interested only in earning money at little risk. A great pity because he did have a lot of the tools to go a long way. Probably unlucky to have been at his prime in a strong era too.

Kid McCoy
06-16-2009, 12:36 PM
Nice story about Joe, I always thought he was better than many give him credit for.

I think GJC has summed up the main points well. Bugner was talented guy, fine boxing skills, beautiful jab, very solid chin and pretty quick for someone his size - Angelo Dundee was one who always rated him highly. But he lacked the extra edge that the greats have, which is why he could hold his own against the elite but not beat them.

I don't think his heart was ever really in boxing, perhaps because an early opponent died of a brain injury shortly after their fight, perhaps because of the abuse he got in Britain after controversially beating the beloved Henry Cooper, who didn't help matters by moaning about it for the next forty years! He did seem to treat boxing primarily as a job, hence his quip to Micky Duff after the second Ali fight when Duff opined that it was all about the money for Bugner: "yes - and being able to spend it."

But all in all, he didn't do too bad. He avoided no one, he had solid wins over the likes of Jimmy Ellis, Mac Foster, Greg Page, Quick Tillis and Chuck Wepner, and nobody ever beat him easily. He lost with honour against Frazier, and while the second Ali fight was a blowout, the first was fairly competitive and I believe Ali cited him as one of his most awkward opponents. The Lyle fight neatly summed him up. It was a fight he could/should have won, but he seemed to go into his shell and let it slip away.

Sugarj
06-16-2009, 06:27 PM
Bugner's handspeed at his peak was superb for a big guy, nearly as quick as Ali. Very well schooled, just lacked real aggression!

Mugwump
06-16-2009, 06:43 PM
Whilst the defeat of the popular Cooper didn't do too many favours to Joe's appeal in Britain, it's worth making the point that it was his mouth that got him into the most trouble. He just couldn't keep it shut. Which was unfortunate because when open it sprayed out manure at an alarming rate.

GJC
06-16-2009, 06:55 PM
Whilst the defeat of the popular Cooper didn't do too many favours to Joe's appeal in Britain, it's worth making the point that it was his mouth that got him into the most trouble. He just couldn't keep it shut. Which was unfortunate because when open it sprayed out manure at an alarming rate.
Actually think the loud mouth Joe was a creation when he made his come back to get a fight with Bruno. Think he put a black hat on and played up to the cameras.

mickey malone
06-17-2009, 03:06 AM
I believe the guy who was tradgically killed against Bugner was during his amateur career, and maybe this was a factor in his safety first approach..
Bugner always looked good when he lost his temper, which happened notably against Dunn & when Winston Allen bit his shoulder in a televised bout in the UK..
On these occassions, Joe produced quite devastating KO power..
But on other occassions he allowed smaller fighters like Marvis Frazier & Steffan Tangstead to back him up, and almost bully him around the ring.. This will always be a mystery to me, as he should have dominated with ease..
With regard to some of his trash talking... That was just to be the bad boy promoter, but with his awesome physique, and unusual squeaky voice, created a great source of amusement.. I personally miss having him around.. Boxing needs these characters..

Kid McCoy
06-17-2009, 05:40 AM
I believe the guy who was tradgically killed against Bugner was during his amateur career, and maybe this was a factor in his safety first approach..
Bugner always looked good when he lost his temper, which happened notably against Dunn & when Winston Allen bit his shoulder in a televised bout in the UK..
On these occassions, Joe produced quite devastating KO power..
But on other occassions he allowed smaller fighters like Marvis Frazier & Steffan Tangstead to back him up, and almost bully him around the ring.. This will always be a mystery to me, as he should have dominated with ease..
With regard to some of his trash talking... That was just to be the bad boy promoter, but with his awesome physique, and unusual squeaky voice, created a great source of amusement.. I personally miss having him around.. Boxing needs these characters..

Ulric Regis was the Bugner opponent who died after their fight. It was a pro fight, Bugner only actually had 15 or so amateur bouts. Ezzard Charles was reportedly never the same after Sam Baroudi died following their fight, likewise Emile Griffith after Benny Paret. These guys wouldn't be human if it didn't affect them.

There was a lot of needle between Dunn and Bugner, which probably explains the show of aggression from Bugner in that one. Another who seemed to piss Bugner off before their fight was Dino Denis, a very durable fighter - not even George Foreman could floor him - and Bugner flattened him with a peach of a right hand. That was the frustrating thing about him. He showed he could fight that way, but usually seemed to be holding back.

He's a great character though. I'm not surprised the Aussies liked him when he moved out there.

mickey malone
06-17-2009, 07:17 AM
Ulric Regis was the Bugner opponent who died after their fight. It was a pro fight, Bugner only actually had 15 or so amateur bouts. Ezzard Charles was reportedly never the same after Sam Baroudi died following their fight, likewise Emile Griffith after Benny Paret. These guys wouldn't be human if it didn't affect them.

There was a lot of needle between Dunn and Bugner, which probably explains the show of aggression from Bugner in that one. Another who seemed to piss Bugner off before their fight was Dino Denis, a very durable fighter - not even George Foreman could floor him - and Bugner flattened him with a peach of a right hand. That was the frustrating thing about him. He showed he could fight that way, but usually seemed to be holding back.

He's a great character though. I'm not surprised the Aussies liked him when he moved out there.
Thanks for that.. I never realized it was in the pro ranks...
I remember the fight with Dennis also.. Around 1983.. Was a peach too.. And yes, Dino was noted for his durability.. Looked a bit like Ken Lacusta, but more of a Status Quo fan, I'd expect..lol