Gary Mason RIP

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Gary Mason RIP

Post  El Guapo on Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:37 am

FRANK BRUNO led the tributes to Gary Mason as news of the former British heavyweight champ's tragic death rocked boxing.

Mason, 48, died after the bike he was riding was involved in a collision with a van in south London.

Bruno and Mason were sparring partners as they began their careers in Terry Lawless' famous Royal Oak gym at Canning Town in the early 1980s.

Frank said: "I had a terrible shock when I was told Gary had been killed.

"Goodness knows how many rounds we sparred together and I had great respect for the guy as a person and a fighter.

"Technically, he was a better boxer than me but I suppose I was more determined.

"It is a dreadful start to 2011. He was such a loveable character. We shall miss him badly."

Unfortunately for Mason, he was always in Bruno's shadow long before Frank won his world title. He was also a contemporary of Lennox Lewis, otherwise I am sure he would have achieved much more.

However, it must be said he was not nearly as dedicated to the kind of spartan training regime that Bruno and Lewis put themselves through.

Gary won the British crown when he knocked out Hughroy Currie 22 years ago and he also knocked out Jess Harding in his only defence.


The scene was set for a clash with European champ Lewis. Both unbeaten, they staged a brutal battle won by Lewis when the referee rescued Mason in the seventh.

Gary, as a result of that battering, suffered a detached retina which virtually put an end to his career. That was the only fight Mason lost in 10 years and 38 contests.

I knew him well and he was often my guest at the Boxing Writers' Club dinner. True to form, he was always late - usually turning up as the dessert was being served.

But you could never be angry with him. Everyone will miss his happy-go-lucky attitude to life and ever-present smile.

Boxing has always been awash with vindictiveness and petty jealousies. But nobody ever said a bad word about Gary. That's not a bad legacy.

If Carlsberg made men...

El Guapo

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Re: Gary Mason RIP

Post  chelseaz on Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:09 pm


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