Johnny Owen, Merthyr, brought the British bantam title back to Wales for
the first time for 64 years when he beat the holder Paddy Maguire,
Belfast, the referee intervening in
eleventh round with the latter cut on the right eyebrow. But by then
Owen was well on top, and it was afterwards stated that Maguire's corner
would have retired him anyway at the end of the round. And Paddy himself
took to the ring mike to announce to the patrons that he was now
retiring from the ring.
In a career of 35 fights Maguire has twice boxed for the European crown
and once for the Commonwealth title, as well as holding the British
championship. He is now 29, and has made a fine contribution to the
sport. The 21-year-old Owen, who now has had only ten fights, gave a
competent performance, counterpunched to good effect, and Maguire was
met with rights to the face whenever he came forward. Maguire incurred
warnings for misuse of the head, punching low and with the heel of the
glove. Owen too was cut over the right eye, but made light of his
handicap, and afterwards was only too eager to pay tribute to his
Lord Lonsdale belt
champ successfully defends title
The Ring magazine, June 1978
by Ron Oliver
Club Double Diamond, Caerphilly, Wales
British bantam champ Johnny Owen, had no difficulty in disposing of
Davey Larmour, Belfast, the bout being stopped in the seventh of
a scheduled ten. At that point, Larmour was cut near the right eye, had
a swelling under the left eye, and bled from the nose. To his credit, he
had remained upright throughout, but he was taking too much punishment.
Owen gradually increased the tempo, and the longer it went the more
effective he got. Larmour tried his best to stem the tide, but it was to
no avail. The champ just went from strength to strength and at the end
of the sixth the referee went to Larmour's corner, presumably to check
out Davey's condition. However, the Irishman came up for the seventh,
his face now showing the signs of Owen's accurate two-handed punching.
As the round reached the halfway stage, Larmour was no longer fighting
back, and the referee intervened.
Owen, known as "stringbean" because he is tall and thin, was
in good form, and has now been accepted as the leading contender for the
European and Commonwealth titles.