FIGHT NEWS

Friends support Lionel Rose after he suffers stroke

By Howard Leigh
Boxing friends have rallied to wish a speedy recovery to former  world bantamweight champion Lionel Rose MBE after he suffered a mild stroke.
 An inaugural member of the Australian Boxing Hall of Fame, Rose will turn 60 next June.
He was admitted to a Warragul Hospital in West Gippsland after complaining of not feeling well.
 Close friend Gus Mercurio said Rose was making progress and had made a vow of cutting back his busy social life and start eating  healthier foods.
He is a regular on the sporting talk circuit in the company of former world champions John Famechon and Barry Michael and often  brings his guitar and sings some of his best selling hits.
Rose turned professional on September 9, 1964 in Warragul, winning an eight round decision over Mario Magris.
He repeated his win over Magris a month later.
It was Magris, as secretary of the Victorian chapter  of the Past and Professional  Boxing Association, who paved the way for Rose to be inducted into the the PPBA Hall of Fame in 1994.
 Rose won the world titles in Toyko in 1968 at the age of 19 when he accounted for Japanese hero Masihiko “Fighting” Harada on points over 15 rounds.
He became an instant national hero and 300,000 people lined the streets of Melbourne to welcome him when he returned home.
 Several months later he was named Australian of the Year.
His life story was featured in a two-part mini series shown on the Channel 7 network titled “Rose Against the Odds.”

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