Search

Death of promoter brings back memories of great fight nights

10:19 11 August 2011

Mike Barrett

Mike Barrett

Archant

The passing of former boxing promoter Mike Barrett at the age of 85 in Cyprus last weekend prompted memories of outstanding boxing nights which featured many local fighters in Kensington’s famous Royal Albert Hall.

Barrett (pictured right) is remembered for his partnership with local manager Terry Lawless as part of the group which also included Mickey Duff and Jarvis Astaire, as they dominated British boxing for three decades.

It was a link which started around 50 years ago when Lawless was a young manager guiding a small stable of fighters in a gym above the Duke of Fife pub in Katherine Road, Forest Gate.

The rising prospects travelled to get their fighting experience on small hall shows around the country – including the bills promoted by Barrett – a successful businessman just moving into the fight game.

Later Lawless switc-hed to the Raglan pub in Plaistow and on to the famous Royal Oak Gym in Canning Town, where he produced the boxing heroes like welterweight John H Stracey, flyweight Charlie Magri, light-middleweight Maurice Hope and heavyweight Frank Bruno.

Across town, at the famous Royal Albert Hall in west London, Barrett promoted the shows where the above quartet, and many more champions, built outstanding ring careers.

Lawless, a caring manager always reluctant to take too many risks with his fighters, was often in conflict with the promoter, a more aloof figure who did not need to mix with the boxers on a daily basis.

In their later years, the partnership lost their position at the top of British boxing as new faces moved in and Frank Warren took control to establish himself as the leading promoter in the land.

The former partners moved away in their retirement years and spent their final days in Mediterranean holiday destinations.

Lawless died on Christmas Eve 2009 in Marbella, Spain, where he lived for several years and now Barrett has passed away following a heart attack at his home in Cyprus.

Latest Sport Stories

West Ham United's Diafra Sakho celebrates scoring their second goal

The Hammers let an early lead slip as preperations continue for the new Premier League season

Leyton Orient head coach Ian Hendon (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO).

Pre-season friendly: Southend United 0 Leyton Orient 1

David Mooney
13:51
Tobi Adesina netted twice in Barking's win at Three Bridges (pic: Terry Gilbert)

Latest news from pre-season

Essex Senior League
09:41
Adam Ellis (blue) and Richard Lawson (red) impressed for Hammers at Leicester (pic: Rob Newell/TGSPHOTO)

Elite League: Leicester 39 Lakeside Hammers 51

Andreas Jonsson

Most read sport

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Read more
Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Read more

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder