Joe Bugner

Aussie Joe Bugner

Joe Bugner born (March 13, 1950 in Szoreg, Hungary) is a former British/Australian heavyweight boxer.

His family emigrated to the United Kingdom in the late 1950s and settled in the Cambridgeshire town of St Ives.

He turned professional in 1967 on the advice of his then trainer and friend Andy Smith. He had a losing debut against Paul Brown on the 20th December 1967 at the London Hilton, where he was knocked out in the third round. After his debut he went on to stop 12 of his next 13 opponents. This included four one-round wins.

He alienated the majority of British boxing fans by his defensive boxing style and also by winning the British, Empire and European titles from the national favourite, Henry Cooper in a controversial victory in 1971. There were no judges and the fight was scored by the referee, Harry Gibbs. Bugner won by a 1/4 point. This result prompted the well respected boxing commentator Harry Carpenter to state, "I find that [the result] amazing!".

His critics argue that his heart was never in boxing after an early opponent, Ulric Regis, died from brain injuries soon after being outpointed by Bugner at London’s Shoreditch town hall.

Bugner went the distance with two of the most gifted boxers of his generation Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, each time he lost on points. He also lost to Joe Frazier's son Marvis Frazier 13 years later, also on points.

The fights with Ali were widely regarded as dull affairs, although after the first fight in 1973, Ali declared that Bugner was capable of being world champion.

In 1986 he moved to Australia, where he acquired the name Aussie Joe Bugner.

He won the Australian heavyweight title by a points victory over Vince Cervi.

He won the lightly regarded 'WBF' version of the heavyweight crown in 1998, by defeating James "Bonecrusher" Smith

His record for 83 professional fights is 69 wins (41 on knockouts), 13 Loses and 1 Draw. He last fought in June 1999 beating Levi Billups, who was disqualified for low blows.

In an interview in 2004, Bugner said that the hardest puncher he had ever faced was Ernie Shavers and the biggest beating he took was from Ron Lyle.

On his move to Australia, Bugner and his wife Marlene opened a vineyard. It failed in 1989, and he estimated to having lost some one and a half million Australian dollars.

He now lives on the Gold Coast, Queensland.

More recently Bugner has started to carve a career in the movie industry. He was the expert adviser on the recent Russell Crowe film, Cinderella Man, which was a film about the heavyweight boxer James J. Braddock. Bugner was dropped part way through the project, which prompted him to call Crowe, “a gutless worm and [sic] f*****g girl”