Joe Bugner

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Joe Bugner.jpeg

Name: Joe Bugner
Birth Name: József Kreul Bugner
Hometown: St Ives, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
Birthplace: Szoreg, Hungary
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 193cm
Reach: 208cm
Pro Boxer: Record
Amateur Boxer: Record

Joe Bugner came to Britain as a child refugee fleeing the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956. Before embarking on his boxing career Bugner was a talented athelete and was a junior AAA discus champion. Initially he started training at his local youth club to get fit for athletics and was encouraged to box competitively by the trainer, Andy Smith. After a few amateur fights Bugner turned professional at the age of 17 and at the age of 21 he won the British, European and Commonwealth heavyweight titles.

In 1975 Bugner challenged Muhammad Ali for the world heavyweight title, but lost on points. He had previously gone the distance with both Ali and Joe Frazier two years before that. Bugner also fought many other top fighters - including Jimmy Ellis, Ron Lyle, Earnie Shavers, Greg Page and James Bonecrusher Smith - in a career which was littered with retirements, comebacks and, arguably, he never fulfiled his true potential.

Notably, Bugner spent the latter part of his boxing career in Australia. Known as 'Aussie Joe', Bugner managed to win the WBF title at the age of 48.

In a colourful life Bugner has also lived in the USA, had an acting career, many business interests and worked as a TV commentator and presenter. Bugner was never really popular in Britain - some say this was due to his controversial win over Henry Cooper in Cooper's last fight, some say it was because he was often frustrating to watch and frequently overly defensive - but achieved celebrity status Down Under after leaving the UK.

Bugner's son J.A. Bugner also fought as a professional.