By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing
Australian boxing great and former world bantamweight champion Lionel Rose passed away in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on Sunday. Lionel Rose began his professional boxing career in 1964 outpointing Mario Magriss over eight rounds. Trained and managed under the guidance of Jack Rennie, Rose captured the Australian bantamweight title by winning a fifteen round decision over Noel Kunde in 1966. In 1967 Rose scored a thirteen round knockout over former world flyweight challenger Rocky Gattelari in Sydney. In a major upset Rose stepped in as a late replacement in 1968 to challenge Japanese boxing great Fighting Harada in Tokyo, Japan for the WBA and WBC bantamweight title and shocked the boxing world when he was awarded a fifteen round majority decision.
He defended the title successfully against Takao Sakurai in Japan, Chucho Castillo in the USA and Alan Rudkin in Australia.. Rose also outpointed tough Mexican Jose Medel in a non title ten rounder.In 1969 Mexican KO artist Ruben Olivares who was unbeaten in 52 fights stopped Rose in five rounds. In 1971 Rose challenged Yoshiaki Numata unsucessfully for the WBC jnr lightweight title in Hiroshima, Japan dropping a fifteen round decision. Rose retired in 1976 after losing to Maurice Apeang in Noumea. Rose scored 42 wins with 11 losses and twelve KOs. Lionel would have turned 63 years of age on June 21st. Lionel Rose will be sadly missed by his family and the Australian boxing fraternity.