Lionel Rose MBE
Recovering From Stroke
07.08.07 – By Tony Nobbs: Former world bantamweight champion Lionel
Edmund Rose MBE left a Melbourne hospital today and is home in Warrugal,
country Victoria, recovering from a stroke he suffered last week.
His cousin and Australia's leading ring official Brad Vocale told
eastside “Lionel's best mate Brian Ebbige told me that he is a fighter
and is determined to beat it. His wife Jenny and son Michael are with
him, he's home now. He's affected on the left side. He's taking light
fluids and l foods. He's still got his sense of humor and is having
rehab every day.”
“Contrary to popular belief he hasn't been on the drink and smoking
lately, he's been looking after himself.”
“Lionel is aware that people are inquiring about him, especially boxing
people, and that is giving him a lift."
Lionel turned professional in 1964 defeating Mario Magriss on points
over eight rounds. On February 27, 1968, at the age of 19, Lionel became
the first Aboriginal in any sport to claim a world title, knocking down
and out pointing International Boxing Hall of Famer (IBHOF) Masahiko
“Fighting” Harada in Tokyo to be crowned king of the 118 pounders.
Upon his return home over 100, 000 people jammed the streets from
Tullamarine Airport to Melbourne Town Hall to greet the new champion.
He was named Australian of the year for 1968.
After defending against 1964 Olympic gold medalist Takao Sakura and
Chucho Castillo on the road and Alan Rudkin in Melbourne, (as well as
two non title wins) a weight drained Lionel surrendered his title by
fifth round knockout to the magnificent Mexican “Rockabye” Ruben
Olivares at Inglewood, on August 22 1969.
Lionel later challenged for the WBC junior lightweight title in Japan
losing by close decision to Yoshiaki Numata in Tokyo in 1971. He retired
in 1976, with a record of 42-11, 12 KO's. He was 27-2 when he beat
Affectionately known to his mates as “Slim”, Lionel is an inspirational
figure in Australian folk lore and receives standing ovations at fight
nights and still a popular guest on the dinner curcuit where along with
fellow world champs Johnny Famechon and Barry Michael. He was an
inaugral inductee into the Australian National Boxing Hall of Fame in
2003 and was present at last years Mundine – Green fight. He was born on
June 21 1948 and grew up in a shanty at Jacksons Track just outside
Drouin in the Gippsland area of country Victoria. A popular movie (“Rose
Against The Odds”) was made on his life in the early 1990's, receiving
high ratings nation wide on the channel 7 network.
He is this writers favorite all time boxer and he is should be in our
This article is an exact copy Brad Vocale's writing on
www.eastsideboxing.com and considering he is Lionel's relation did a
great job with few grammatical mistakes I left in for originality
reasons. Young Victor