Former British champion Sammy McCarthy dies aged 88

Former British featherweight champion Sammy McCarthy has died aged 88 (pic: Alex Daley)

Former British featherweight champion Sammy McCarthy has died aged 88 (pic: Alex Daley) - Credit: Archant

Former British featherweight champion Sammy McCarthy has died at the age of 88.

McCarthy, known as 'Smiling Sammy', fought over 50 times in the 1950s and served as champion from 1955-1956 before retiring at the age of 26.

After quitting the ring, he managed many successful boxers such as Olympic gold medallist Terry Spinks.

The Stepney fighter made his professional debut in April 1951 with a first-round knockout of Hector Macrow.

He was unbeaten in his first 28 fights, which included wins over Freddie King, Jackie Turpin, Ronnie Clayton, and Jim Kenny.


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McCarthy then beat Clayton at White City Stadium in 1954 for the British title before losing it to Billy 'Spider' Kelly.

After moving up to lightweight, he beat Willi Swoboda and later lost to Joe Lucy in a British title fight.

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Later in his life, he ran pubs but also served time in prison for armed robbery of banks before living in retirement in Wanstead.

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