Joe Bugner began his boxing career in his mid teens attending a local gym at the advice of a teacher who noticed his raw talent. Over 6 feet tall, athletic with a long reach and quick jab . Joe Bugner was made for boxing. Quickly rising up through the heavy weight ranks capturing the British public and press imagination.
By the time Joe was 21 he challenged Henry Cooper for the Great Britain European and Commonwealth heavy weight crowns. He won against the odds to become the youngest boxer ever to hold a heavy weight crown.
He challenged for the world heavy weight title against the greatest Muhummad Ali taking him the distance on two occasions only to lose on points . He was the man Ali could not knock down. He faced Frasier, Cooper, Bruno, Shavers, Wepner , Tillis and Jimmy Lyle. Bugner was rated by Muhammad Ali the three best boxers he ever faced. The others being Joe Frasier and George Foreman.
Many rate Bugners fight against Joe Frazier as his best career performance.
Joe was not long into retirement where he was inspired by the 45-year-old George Foreman’s winning of a heavyweight title. Persistence finally gave Joe the WBF world crown by defeating James “Bonecrusher” Smith. At the age of 48 years and 110 days .This made him the oldest ever boxer to hold a world belt. Joe retired in 1999 at the age of 49 .
His boxing record: 83 professional fights. With 69 wins (41 knockouts), 13 Losses and 1 Draw. By anyone’s measure an impressive record in a time when the heavyweight division reigned supreme. Joe Bugner in his entire career was never knocked down and never kissed the canvas.