John Conteh MBE former light heavyweight World champion 1974 to 1978 SIGNED black & white 5 1/2" x 3 1/2" promotional photo.
John Conteh (born 27 May 1951 in Toxteth, Liverpool, England). Former World light-heavyweight 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 and held the title until 1978 when he was stripped for not going through with a mandated defence. He was the loser on points over fifteen rounds to the Croatian 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.
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 9 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 special episode of The Weakest Link in 2009, where he came in third place.