This September marks 45 years since Crawley-born boxer Alan Minter battled his way to Olympic bronze in the Munich games of that year – this month, RH History Uncovered looks back at an illustrious sporting career which saw the Sussex southpaw scoop medals, records and plaudits.
Boxer Alan Minter, born on August 17 1951 competed from 1972 to 1981 – his achievements include holding the undisputed middleweight title in 1980 having previously been the British middleweight holder from 1975 to 1976, and the European middleweight title twice between 1977 and 1979.
Before turning professional, he won Olympic bronze in the light-middleweight division in 1972 in Munich. He was defeated by the slenderest of decisions as two judges voted for him, two for his opponent – the fifth judge had the fight even at 59-59 but gave the advantage to the German.[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=”600″]
Minter’s Medal Run
On his way to scooping bronze in 1972, Alan defeated three opponents before controversially losing in a split decision to host nation favourite and eventual Olympic Champion, the late Dieter Kottysch.
1st round – Bye
2nd Round – Defeated Reggie Ford (Guyana) KO 2
3rd Round – Defeated Valeri Tregubov (Soviet Union) 5–0
4th Round – Defeated Loucif Hamani (Algeria) 4–1
Semi Final – Lost to Dieter Kottysch (West Germany) 2–3
Victory in Munich proved to be the catalyst of a successful boxing career for the boy from Crawley – he began his glittering professional career with a bout with Maurice Thomas in London on October 31 1972, a fight which Alan would go on to win by knocking out his opponent Thomas in six rounds.
Alan went on to claim five fights in a row by knockout and his career would take him across the world with fights being staged at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Milan, Monte Carlo and the home of modern, glitzy and razzmatazz-filled American boxing – the iconic Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
A proud product of his local amateur boxing club, Alan, who won an Olympic medal and claimed a European and world title, did not forget his roots – at the height of his boxing career he still managed to run an upmarket restaurant and wine bar in Crawley High Street called Minters.
Before hanging up his gloves, Alan for a while did conditioning work at Crawley sports centre with another sporting great with links to Crawley – double Olympic decathlon champion Daley Thompson, who at the time was studying at Crawley Sixth Form College, and lived with thrower Richard Slaney.
The 1980s saw the beginning of the end of Alan’s career, he beat fringe contender Ernie Singletary in 1981 but soon suffered defeats to Mustafa Hamsho and Tony Sibson. He left the sport with a record in professional boxing of 39 wins – of which 23 were knockouts, nine losses and one no contest.