Alan Minter vs Kevin Finnegan II British middleweight title official on-site 22 page programme, 14th September 1976, Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London.
Minter W PTS over 15 rounds
Jimmy Batten vs Peter Wulf
Billy Knight vs Oscar Angus
Mark Bliss vs Les Pickett
Dave "Boy" Green vs Jean Pierre Younsi
Jeff Gale vs Steve Angell
Jimmy Flint vs Roger Doyle
Condition excellent (minor/light creases)
Alan Minter won the bronze medal at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. Soon after, Minter began his career in London on Halloween night of the same year by knocking out Maurice Thomas in six rounds.
Minter won five fights in a row by knockout, and in 1973, Pat Dwyer became the first boxer to go the distance with him, over eight rounds in London. Minter won his next five fights, three by knockout, before tasting defeat for the first time after the refree stopped the fight in the eighth round to King George Aido due to bad cuts suffered by Minter. Two more wins followed before facing Jan Magziarz, who beat him twice in a row (once in the eighth and once in the sixth) again due to cuts.
1974 was a mixed year for Minter, beating Tony Byrne by a decision in eight, losing in two to Ricky Torres (again on cuts), having a third fight with Magziarz result in a no contest in four rounds, and closing the year with a win in eight rounds by decision in his first international fight, against Shako Mamba in Hamburg, Germany.
1975 was the year that saw Minter shine. He won four fights in a row, including another bout in Hamburg, and by the end of the year, he challenged Kevin Finnegan for the British Middleweight title, winning it by a 15 round decision. In 1976 he won six fights, to make it ten wins in a row. Among the boxers he beat were Billy Knight by a knockout in two and Finnegan once again, by decision in 15, both in defence of his British title, along with former World title challenger Tony Licata, knocked out in six, and American Olympic Games Gold medal winner Ray Seales, beaten in five. These wins gave Minter a ranking among the top ten Middleweight challengers of the time.
In 1977, he won the European Middleweight title by beating Germano Valsecchi by a knockout in five in Italy. But in his next fight his winning streak ended when he lost to former World title challenger Ronnie Harris by a knockout in eight.
Minter returned to top ten challenger status by upsetting the former Welterweight and Jr. Middleweight World champion Emile Griffith with a ten round decision win in Monte Carlo, but then, he lost his European title to Gratien Tonna by a knockout in eight at Milan. He closed '77 with a third 15 round decision win over Finnegan to retain his British title.
1978 was a sad year for Minter, although he won all three of his bouts. On February 15, at the Muhammad Ali-Leon Spinks I undercard in Las Vegas, he won his first bout in the United States by knocking out Sandy Torres in five. Then, he went to Italy once again, to regain his European Middleweight title by knocking out Angelo Jaccopucciy in twelve rounds. Jacopucciy died a few days after the bout, in another boxing tragedy.
Minter finished his year by avenging his loss to Tonna with a six round knockout.
In 1979, Minter won all four of his fights, two of them by knockout, and in 1980, he was finally given the opportunity all fighters dream of: On March 16 of that year, in Las Vegas, Nevada, he was given a shot at champion Vito Antuofermo's World Middleweight title at the Caesars Palace. He won the title by a 15 round decision, and in a rematch, he retained the World title by a knockout in eight rounds. Minter's run as World champion came to an end on September 27 of that year, when he lost by a knockout in three to Marvin Hagler at Wembley Arena in London. After the fight was stopped, Minter's supporters caused a riot, throwing beer cans and glass into the ring and both boxers had to be ushered away by the police.
Minter beat fringe contender Ernie Singletary in London, in 1981, but after losses to future Hagler challengers Mustafa Hamsho and Tony Sibson, both also in London, he retired for good.
He left boxing with a record of 39 wins, 9 losses and 1 no contest, with 23 wins by knockout.
Kevin Finnegan (18 April 1948 – 23 October 2008)
Finnegan's older brother Chris was an Olympic gold medallist and also a professional boxer. Early in his career when Kevin was still an amateur he was banned for 18 months for climbing into the ring to dispute a loss his brother had suffered. He was well known for a trilogy of fights against Alan Minter; although he lost all three, they were close point decisions.
He won the British Middleweight title on three separate occasions, and was a two-time European Middleweight champion. Finnegan twice fought future undisputed World champion Marvin Hagler, losing by a technical knockout on both occasions. Hagler later referred to Finnegan as the toughest man he had ever fought. He also held wins over Tony Sibson and Gratien Tonna. His career lasted from 1970 to 1980 and he had 47 fights, winning 35, losing 11 and drawing one.
Finnegan died of heart disease on 23 October 2008, at his home in Hillingdon.