In The News

Tributes are paid to former boxing champion Emile Griffith

Tributes are paid to former boxing champion Emile Griffith

TRIBUTES have been paid to the former boxing champion Emile Griffith who has passed away at the age of 75.

Mr. Griffith had held the world titles at both welterweight and middleweight, but his career was overshadowed by the events of one fight in 1962 which ended in the death of his opponent, the Cuban Benny ‘Kid’ Paret. 

The welterweight title fight had been the third between the two boxers and was broadcast live from Madison Square Garden in New York. Mr. Griffith regained the title but his opponent was rushed from the ring unconscious and died ten days later.

The death sent shockwaves through the boxing world and American society. A subsequent inquiry cleared Mr. Griffith and the referee of any blame.

He had first gained the welterweight title in 1961 when he beat Mr. Paret with a knockout in the 13th. round. Six months later, Mr. Griffith lost the rematch by a disputed points decision (see below).

Mr. Griffith went on to lose, then regain the welterweight title to another Cuban, Luis Manuel Roeriquez. However, he vacated the title in 1966 after beating Dick Tiger to gain the world middleweight crown. His time in this division was to prove equally as eventful, going on to lose the title, regain it and lose it again to the Italian Nin Benvenuti. Their battles towards the end of the 60s was to cement a strong friendship between the two boxers. Indeed, Mr. Griffith became a godfather to Mr. Benvenuti’s son.

The later part of Mr. Griffith’s career was to prove disappointing and he finally retired after fighting Britain’s Alan Minter in 1977.

Mr. Griffith passed away after suffering kidney failure.

To view footage of the second bout between Mr. Griffith and Benny ‘Kid’ Paret, click here.

To see an excerpt from an interview with Mr. Griffith, click here.

View previous In the News items: Actor Dennis Farina passes away, Tributes are paid to former Welsh footballer Phil Woosnam, Olympic medalist Todd Bennett passes away, Tributes are paid to actor Paul Bhattacharjee, Acouostics pioneer Amar Bose passes away, Tributes are paid to TV legend Alan Whicker, Actor Joe Conley passes away, Tributes are paid to computer mouse inventor Douglas Engelbart, Cancer is number one cause of death in Northern Ireland, Work still to begin on planned crematoriums, Photographer Bert Stern passes away, Tributes are paid to new wave drummer Alan Myers, Science fiction author Richard Matheson passes away, Blues singer Bobby Bland passes away, Tributes are paid to author Vince Flynn, Country singer Slim Whitman passes away, Funeral takes place of tragic Newry man, Former tennis champion Gene Mako passes away, Jazz flautist Sam Most passes away, Tributes are paid to pioneering chocolate maker, Champion racehorse trainer Sir Henry Cecil passes away, Former athletics star Donna Hartley passes away, Swimming movie star Esther Williams passes away, Tributes are paid to writer Tom Sharpe, Funerals take place of drowning victims, Singer Clarence Burke Jr passes away, Tributes are paid to Nobel winner Heinrich Rohrer, Actor Bill Pertwee passes away, Cancer deaths increase in Northern Ireland, Tributes are paid to former footballer Brian Greenhoff, Rock bassist Trevor Bolder passes away, Morecame and Wise comedy writer passes away, Comedy star Paul Shane passes away, Scientist who helped identify hole in ozone layer passes away, Tributes are paid to Archers actor Arnold Peters, Expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls passes away, Film director and writer Bryan Forbes passes away, Tributes are paid to film special effects genius Ray Harryhausen, Heart attack deaths continue to fall in Northern Ireland, Cancer treatment trailblazer Emil Frei passes away, Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman passes away, Former Hollywood great Deanna Durbin passes away, Headstone error corrected at grave of Anne Bronte, Oldest man in Northern Ireland passes away, Man who provided famous flag passes away, MASH actor Allan Arbus passes away, Tributes are paid to folk singer Richie Havens, Author E L Konigsburg passes away, Tributes are paid to record producer Andy Johns, Graphic designer Storm Thorgerson passes away, Hillsborough justice campaigner Anne Williams passes away, Thousands line the route for funeral of Baroness Thatcher or Conductor Sir Colin Davis passes away

If you have a relative or a friend who has passed away and feel they should be mentioned in our In the News section, then please email us.