John Conteh (born 27 May 1951 in Kirkby, Liverpool, England) is a British former boxer who was world light-heavyweight boxing champion.
Conteh is one of Britain's most successful boxing champions. At his peak in the mid-to-late 1970s he was considered good enough that he was touted as a possible opponent of Muhammad Ali. He enjoyed great fame in Britain and was often on the front as well as the back pages of the leading dailies due to his love of partying and women. Conteh said that his excessive lifestyle brought about a premature decline in his talents. He started boxing at age 10 at the Kirkby club that was a training ground for some of the best amateur boxers, Joey Singleton, Tucker Hethering and Stuart Morton were only a few. At 19, he won the middleweight gold medal at the 1970 British Commonwealth Games. He won the WBC Light Heavyweight crown in October 1974 by defeating Jorge Ahumada and held the title until 1977 when he was stripped for not going through with a mandated defense. He was the loser in a fifteen round split decision to the Yugoslavian fighter Mate Parlov in an attempt to regain the title. He failed twice in further efforts to win back his old crown in 1979 and then again seven months later in 1980 - both against the American Matthew Saad Muhammad. Muhammad won both bouts but his first victory was declared void because his cornermen used an illegal substance on a cut.
He retired from professional boxing in 1980. His professional record is 34 wins, 1 draw, and 4 losses.
In 1973, Conteh was one of the celebrities featured dressed in prison gear on the cover of the Wings album Band on the Run.
Conteh also has the distinction of being British Superstars competition champion in 1974, the second year of the televised sporting event. Conteh is now an after-dinner speaker and speaks at venues all across the country.
Conteh appeared on the BBC television program Sporting Legends which was presented by Eamonn Holmes. On the show Conteh spoke at length at how he started out in the fight game and how Ali persuaded him to fight at Light-Heavyweight instead of Heavyweight as Ali believed that Conteh was too small to be a heavyweight, and how his lifestyle led to alcoholism and a charge of assault, he stated that at the time he appeared on Sporting Legends he had been dry for nine years. Conteh also made a starring appearance in the television show Boon in 1989, as a washed-up boxer. He more recently appeared on a boxing special of The Weakest Link in 2009, where he came in third place. His most recent TV acting appearance was in the crime drama "Justice", in which he again played an ex-boxer.
Professional boxing record
|34 Wins (23 knockouts, 11 decisions), 4 Losses (1 knockout, 3 decisions), 1 Draw |
|Win||12-14-1|| James Dixon||TKO||5||31/05/1980|| Liverpool, Merseyside, United Kingdom||Referee stopped the bout at 2:49 of the fifth round.|
|Loss||24-3-2|| Matthew Saad Muhammad||TKO||4||29/03/1980|| Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||WBC World Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 2:27 of the fourth round.|
|Loss||23-3-2|| Matthew Saad Muhammad||UD||15||18/08/1979|| Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||WBC World Light Heavyweight Title. 142-146, 143-144, 141-146.|
|Win||19-6|| Ivy Brown||PTS||10||04/06/1979|| Liverpool, Merseyside, United Kingdom|
|Draw||18-8-1|| Jesse Burnett||PTS||10||19/04/1979|| Piccadilly, London, United Kingdom|
|Win||8-2|| Leonardo Rodgers||KO||7||26/09/1978|| Wembley, London, United Kingdom||Rodgers knocked out at 1:15 of the seventh round.|
|Loss||21-1-1|| Mate Parlov||SD||15||17/06/1978|| Belgrade, Serbia||WBC World Light Heavyweight Title.|
|Win||20-7-1|| Joe Cokes||PTS||10||07/02/1978|| Islington, London, United Kingdom||100-90.|
|Win||26-2-1|| Len "Stinger" Hutchins||TKO||3||05/03/1977|| Liverpool, Merseyside, United Kingdom||WBC World Light Heavyweight Title.|
|Win||31-3|| Yaqui Lopez||UD||15||09/10/1976|| Copenhagen, Denmark||WBC World Light Heavyweight Title. 149-145, 149-145, 148-146.|
|Win||11-3-3|| Willie "Bull" Taylor||PTS||10||16/08/1975|| Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||24-2|| Lonnie Bennett||TKO||5||11/03/1975|| Wembley, London, United Kingdom||WBC World Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 1:10 of the fifth round.|
|Win||41-5-2|| Jorge Ahumada||SD||15||01/10/1974|| Wembley, London, United Kingdom||WBC World Light Heavyweight Title.|
|Win||26-5-1|| Chris Finnegan||TKO||6||21/05/1974|| Wembley, London, United Kingdom||EBU/Commonwealth/BBBofC British Light Heavyweight Titles.|
|Win||74-5-1|| Tom Bogs||TKO||7||12/03/1974|| Wembley, London, United Kingdom||EBU Light Heavyweight Title.|
|Win||17-2|| Les "Is More" Stevens||PTS||10||12/02/1974|| Kensington, London, United Kingdom|
|Win||37-15-1|| Fred "Airman" Lewis||TKO||3||14/12/1973|| Liverpool, Merseyside, United Kingdom|
|Win||33-7-2|| Baby Boy Rolle||PTS||15||23/10/1973|| Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom||Commonwealth Light Heavyweight Title.|
|Win||39-11-1|| Vicente Rondon||TKO||9||10/09/1973|| Wembley, London, United Kingdom|
|Win||25-4-1|| Chris Finnegan||PTS||15||22/05/1973|| Wembley, London, United Kingdom||EBU/Commonwealth/BBBofC British Light Heavyweight Titles.|
|Win||29-3-3|| Rudiger Schmidtke||TKO||12||13/03/1973|| Wembley, London, United Kingdom||EBU Light Heavyweight Title.|
|Win||28-9-1|| Terry "TX" Daniels||KO||7||14/02/1973|| Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||16-1-1|| Dave "The Band" Matthews||PTS||10||15/01/1973|| Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom||50-48.25.|
|Win||12-2-1|| Sam "Diamond Ray" McGill||TKO||9||05/12/1972|| Kensington, London, United Kingdom|
|Win||14-13-5|| "Big" John Hudgins||KO||2||14/11/1972|| Wembley, London, United Kingdom|
|Win||32-11-3|| Bill Drover||KO||7||31/10/1972|| Kensington, London, United Kingdom|
|Win||3-11-1|| Ferenc Kristofcsak||DQ||1||10/10/1972|| Kensington, London, United Kingdom|
|Loss||5-1-1|| Eddie "Big E" Duncan||PTS||10||26/09/1972|| Wembley, London, United Kingdom||49-49.25.|
|Win||7-14|| Johnny "Big" Mac||TKO||2||19/07/1972|| Dublin, Ireland|
|Win||12-3-1|| Billy Aird||TKO||8||06/06/1972|| Kensington, London, United Kingdom|
|Win||8-6-1|| Joe "Top Cat" Gholston||KO||5||25/04/1972|| Kensington, London, United Kingdom|
|Win||5-7|| Ruben Figueroa||KO||2||28/03/1972|| Wembley, London, United Kingdom|
|Win||2-1|| Larry "Legend" Sykes||KO||1||15/02/1972|| Kensington, London, United Kingdom|
|Win||11-2|| Wilhelm Janco||TKO||1||25/01/1972|| Kensington, London, United Kingdom|
|Win||6-16-2|| Emilio Okee||TKO||5||07/12/1971|| Kensington, London, United Kingdom|
|Win||4-19-2|| Tony Burwell||PTS||8||24/11/1971|| Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom|
|Win||9-11|| Frank Bullard||TKO||2||16/11/1971|| Wembley, London, United Kingdom|
|Win||25-17-2|| Pierre Minier||TKO||5||08/11/1971|| Mayfair, London, United Kingdom|
|Win||8-3-1|| Okacha Boubekeur||KO||1||18/10/1971|| Piccadilly, London, United Kingdom|