Dick Richardson (June 1, 1934 – July 15, 1999) was a heavyweight boxer from the
Maesglas area of
He held the European heavyweight title from
March 1960 to June 1962. In all, he won 31 of his 47 professional
bouts, losing 14, with two drawn. He was 6 ft 3ins tall and
weighed about 200 lbs. He was one of a quartet of outstanding
British heavyweights in the fifties and early sixties, along with
, Joe Erskine
and Brian London
, who held out the possibility of a
British heavyweight world champion.
He was born Richard Alexander Richardson but was known as Dick. He
had a few amateur bouts before being called up for his national service
in 1953. He served in the
Royal Army Service Corps
where he became boxing champion. However he was beaten in the
inter-services boxing championships by Brian London
, later to become British
heavyweight boxing champion, and fighting under his real name of
turned professional in 1954, being managed by Wally Lesley and
trained by Johnny Lewis at a gym in Blackfriars, London.
September 1954, he lost his first professional bout on points
against Henry Cooper
’s twin brother,
George, fighting under the ring name of Jim Cooper. He avenged this
defeat in March 1955 with a technical knockout in the second
Richardson began to build up an impressive list of victories, many
of them inside the distance. In May 1956 he fought fellow Welsh
heavyweight, Joe Erskine,
in the Maindy Stadium, Cardiff, in front of
Despite knocking Erskine down in round five,
Richardson lost on points. Richard continued to look for
higher-class opponents and in October 1956, he fought the ex-world
champion Ezzard Charles
in a fight
that became a farce when the American was disqualified in round two
for persistent holding. He next fought the world-class Cuban, Nino
Valdes in December 1956, but was forced to retire in the eighth
Richardson’s first title fight was for the
Commonwealth (British Empire)
Heavyweight Title against the holder, the Jamaican, Joe Bygraves,
in Cardiff in May
The fight, over fifteen rounds was a draw and Bygraves
retained his title.
In October 1957, Richardson, was easily out-pointed in a bout
against the future world light-heavyweight
champion, Willie Pastrano
. His career appeared to be
faltering when he was beaten by Henry
in September 1958, on a technical knockout in the fifth
round, and also lost to Joe
on points in June 1959.
in March 1960, he was matched against the German boxer Hans
Kalbfell, for the vacant European heavyweight title.
previously beaten Kalbfell in four rounds, in Porthcawl, and he won this bout, held in Dortmund, Germany, by a
technical knockout in the thirteenth round.
The defeat of
Kalbfell provoked a riot amongst the German fans, and Richardson
needed a police escort to reach his dressing room
defended his European title in August 1960, against Brian London,
in Porthcawl, winning by a technical knockout in the eighth
This result provoked a brawl, when London’s father
and brother invaded the ring to protest that Richardson had used
his head to open a cut on his opponent.
Richardson also won a return bout against Hans Kalbfell in Dortmund
in February 1961, gaining a points decision.
Richardson won the next defence of his title, in February 1962,
against the German, Karl
, by an astonishing first-round knockout. The bout
was held in Dortmund. Mildenberger would fight Muhammad Ali
for the world title several years
Richardson’s fourth defence of his title was
in June 1962, against the hard-punching Swede, Ingemar Johansson.
been world heavyweight champion after beating Floyd Patterson
, but had subsequently lost
the title to Patterson in June 1960. The bout was held in
Gothenburg, Sweden in front of
50,000 spectators, and Richardson was knocked out in the eighth
Richardson’s last fight was in March 1963,
when Henry Cooper defended his British and Commonwealth heavyweight
titles against him at Wembley.
Richardson was knocked out in the fifth
Retirement and death
Richardson retired at the relatively early
age of 28, and ran a butcher shop in Surrey.
died from cancer on 14 July, 1999, aged 65. He was married to Betty
Richardson with one son, Gary and one daughter Lyn, from which he
has six grandchildren.
In his 47 professional bouts, he won 31 (24 on knock-outs), and
lost 14 (4 on knock-outs). Two of his bouts were drawn.
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