CHRIS FINNEGAN

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March 4, 2009 – Chris Finnegan, the former British, European and Commonwealth light-heavyweight champion, has died at the age of 64. His death comes just four months after his younger brother Kevin was found dead at his Hillingdon home. The cause of Chris’s death is not yet known but he had been admitted to the hospital suffering from pneumonia.The former Buckinghamshire bricklayer won gold at Mexico 1968 when he beat the Soviet Union’s Aleksey Kiselyov. He turned professional soon after, taking British, Commonwealth and European titles at light-heavyweight but the world crown eluded him. His big chance came against American champion Bob Foster in 1972 in an epic 14-round duel at Wembley, but he failed to overcome the favourite. Finnegan’s younger brother Kevin, a former British middleweight champion, passed away last October at the age of 60. “Chris Finnegan was a southpaw with a tendency to cut, but a teak-hard fighting spirit,” said BBC Radio 5 Live boxing correspondent Mike Costello.  “It was a very different boxing game in 1972 and there were fewer opportunities to win, or even challenge, for world titles. “The one opportunity he got he had the misfortune to come up against Foster at Wembley. He lost in the 14th round, but such was his struggle it was voted fight of the year by Ring Magazine. “He very nearly got there and it’s not stretching it to say that were he around today, boxing in this era, he probably would have been a world champion.” Source BBC website.