Ray Wheatley–World of Boxing
Former world heavyweight challenger Joe Bugner will celebrate his 60th birthday at a tribute and testimonial dinner that will be held of March 12 at the Sofitel Wentworth Hotel in Sydney. Aussie Joe, as he is known to Australians, settled in Australia during the 1980’s after an outstanding professional boxing career in London, England when he defeated English boxing legend Henry Cooper in 1971. He battled Muhammad Ali to a points decisions in 1973 in Las Vegas and in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1975. He dropped a twelve round decision to former heavyweight champion “Smokin” Joe Frazier in 1973 but defeated another world heavyweight champion Jimmy Ellis in 1974.
Ron Lyle was awarded a split twelve round points decision over Bugner in 1977 and lost inside the distance to KO artist Ernie Shavers. Moving to Australia Joe defeated former heavyweight champion Greg Page and also heavyweight contenders David Bey and James Tillis via decision wins in 1987. Joe travelled to England in 1987 and lost in eight rounds to Frank Bruno. Bugner stopped former heavyweight champion James Bone Crusher Smith and defeated Levi Billups in his last ring appearance in 1999.
Joe Frazier will be the special guest of honor; the master of ceremonies will be Allan Jones OAM. A special tribute will be given by John Singleton AM.
Bugner was born Joseph Kreul Bugner on March 13, 1950 in Szoreg, Hungary. He later moved to England where he made his professional debut. Joe won 69 fights, lost 13 – boxed one draw and scored 41 knockouts.