By Ray Wheatley – World of Boxing
Tomorrow will be the 50th anniversary of the first fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Bugner in Las Vegas. Bugner, 72, now lives in a care facility in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Sadly he suffers from dementia and doesn’t remember his boxing career at all. Here is the story…
That is so sad. He fought for so so long. Whether that is a factor in this I guess cannot be said for certain. My mother had dementia and her life pretty much ended the same way Bugner appears to be going. She never boxed. He may have had some not so exciting performances but his career spanned more then one era. I mean he fought both Joe and Marvis Frazier. He has victories over Greg Page ,James Tillis and David Bey. Being he was from the era before those fighters impresses me. According to Boxrec he was a fighter for over 32 years! I know he was off for some of those but still. Also only stopped 4 times and one was in his pro debut and 2 others were two Bruno and Shavers!!! I think Shavers was a cut. His style may not have been the most pleasing but in my opinion an incredible career nonetheless!
Shavers was a cut technically but he had knocked Joe down. Joe wasn’t a good fighter. A mauler basically. How he lost to Steffan Tangsted I will never know
A year or two ago I watched that Tangsted fight. Not sure if I can do that again! LOL!!!! Not a great fighter and his style not aesthetically pleasing. But anyone who has had the longevity he had and was able to win fights over name fighters in more then one era like he did still says something about the man. He knew how to handle himself in that ring so sure.
Thank you for publishing this story…..
So sad to hear . I only just met him 2 or 3 years ago at the local bottle shop getting our Xmas booze. He did indeed look very impressive for his age .I told him you look very well joe and he said I’m making a comeback ,we all laughed and he shook my fathers and I hand
Some have stated that had he not been involved in a fight, where the opponent died shortly afterwards from injuries, he m ight have been a far better boxer. He suprised many with his matches that he lost vs Frazier and the first ALi match. Perhaps if ALi had made him angry, instead of praising Bugner all the time, he might have given a better match. Also there were some concerns when the match was held in Malaysia, a predominantly Muslim country, what might happen if Bugner did win. One wonders if he had pressed ALi like Joe Frazier would do a few months later in Manila, if there might have been a change in the heavyweight landscape. Bigger than Joe Frazier, and also not blind in one eye like Frazier, could it have been different. he also had a very unusual career, in that when he went to Australia to win, he would have wins over the likes of Greg Page, James Tillis, and I believe MIke Weaver. Also, at the end of his career, he would win the WORLD BOXING FEDERATION title, against James Bone Crusher Smith, who retired in the fight due to injury. Much of this career, especially after his loss to Frank Bruno, was due to financial problems.