Johnny Famechon, a former boxing world champion, passed away in Melbourne after a protracted illness. He was 77. Famechon’s passing was reported by the Sport Australia Hall of Fame on Thursday. Famechon suffered a stroke and an acquired brain injury in 1991 in Sydney after being hit by a car while jogging.
The Australian boxer’s WBC points decision victory over Cuban Jose Legra at London’s Albert Hall in 1969 stands out as his most memorable world title triumph. Famechon boxed professionally for over 20 years, compiling a record of 56 victories, 20 of which came by way of knockout, six draws, and five defeats.
Famechon defended his featherweight world title against Japan’s Masahiko Harada, better known as Fighting Harada, six months after beating Legra and won in a controversial points decision. In the rematch for the world title, Famechon knocked out Harada in the 14th round in Tokyo.
Famechon fought Mexican Vicente Saldivar in Rome in May 1970 in an effort to defend his WBC title, but he was unsuccessful. At age 24, he announced his boxing retirement shortly after.
He was born Jean-Pierre Famechon in 1945, and at the age of five, he and his family emigrated to Australia from France.
According to John Bertrand, chairman of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame, Johnny Famechon was among the most well-liked Australian boxers of all time. “Johnny was our kind-hearted, shrewd world champion who embodied how we saw heroes. He was referred to be a great artisan and poetry in motion.