Aussie boxing legend Johnny Famechon dies

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Former featherweight world champion Johnny Famechon is being remembered as one of Australia's greatest-ever boxers after he died in Melbourne at the age of 77.

Famechon's most memorable victory was his world title win against Cuban Jose Legra at London's Albert Hall in 1969.

Famechon was the 2003 Inductee for the Australian National Boxing Hall of Fame's modern category and was third to be elevated to legend status in 2012.

Born Jean-Pierre Famechon in France in 1945, he moved to Australia with his family at the age of five.

He boxed professionally for over 20 years for 56 wins, six draws and five losses.

Following his 1969 world title victory in London, Famechon received the keys to the city of Melbourne on returning home.

He defended his WBC featherweight title against Fighting Harada of Japan and won in a controversial points decision.

In the rematch for the world title against Harada in Japan six months later, Famechon decisively won by knocking out his opponent in round 14.

He defended his WBC title in May 1970 in Rome against Mexican Vicente Saldivar and retired at the age of 24 soon after losing the fight in a close points decision.

Famechon, who never fought as an amateur, was trained by professional prize fighter and leading Australian rules footballer Ambrose Palmer.

In 1991 he suffered a stroke and Acquired Brain Injury and was in a coma for 10 days after being hit by a car whilst jogging near Sydney's Warwick Farm racecourse.

Two years after the accident he started a special rehabilitation program that returned him to near full health.

Earlier this year, he became a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen's Birthday Honours list for significant service to boxing at the elite level.

Sport Australia Hall of Fame chair John Bertrand on Thursday said Famechon was one of the most popular Australian boxers of all-time.

"Johnny was our humble, skilful world champion, showing the essence of how we see our heroes. He was described as poetry in motion, a master craftsman," Bertrand said.

"But forget about boxing, as a human, there was no one better.

"Our thoughts are with Johnny's wife Glenys, the entire boxing community and all the lives he touched."

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