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ROBBIE REGAN
Bargoed

World Bantamweight Champion
British & European Flyweight Champion
interim World Flyweight Champion

Nickname:
The Golden Boy

FIGHT RECORD

 


Having won just 3 of his first six fights - and drawn the other three - there was nothing in Regan's early career to suggest that he would attain world championship honours, but he came so close to becoming Wales first two-weight world champion.

His first title was secured in his seventh fight with a 10 round points victory against Ammanford's Kevin Jenkins to take the Welsh flyweight belt.

Regan's very next fight was for the vacant British flyweight crown. In his way was Scotsman, Joe Kelly who had made previous, unsuccessful, attempts at both the British and European titles. Kelly, by comparison was a virtual veteran with 22 fights on his somewhat mixed record. Again, the title fight went the distance with the Welshman claiming a single point victory.

The Bargoed fighters first defence was against previous victim, Francis Ampofo. The year before, 1990, saw Regan take a 6 round points victory in only his second pro outing. Ampofo, however turned the tables and took Regan's British title with an 11th round stoppage caused by a clash of heads. Robbie had suffered the first loss on his record and lost the coveted title to boot.

Just 3 months later the two boxers faced off for a third time; this time Ampofo was defending the title in his first defence. Once again the defending champion was unsuccessful, with Regan re-claiming the British crown with a points decision over 12 rounds.

Juan Bautista Blanco was up next for Regan and quickly dispatched in a first round stoppage. A successful defence of his British flyweight title followed in a win over James Drummond, with the referee halting the fight in the ninth. Drummond came into the fight having gone the distance but failed to take the European belt in his previous bout against the champion Salvatore Fanni............ and it was Fanni and that European belt that the Bargoed man had set his sights on next.

Italian, Fanni had held the European crown for just short of two years but had already successfully defended it four times. At the National Ice Rink, in Cardiff, the European title changed hands as the Golden Boy came away with a 117-114, 117-115, 117-116 points victory to send his horde of Welsh fans wild with delight. “It was an action-packed fight between me and Fanni” remembered Robbie. “He boxed the right fight and crowded me the whole time but I boxed him and, though it was a tough fight, I felt I had done more than enough at the end of the fight.”

After an inauspicious start to the paid ranks Robbie Regan was now British & European flyweight champion - but he wasn't finished with title challenges just yet. The next three years saw him defend the European strap, vacate it and win it back again; also claiming victories in another four fights. Then came the big one. A shot at the world flyweight title. In the opposing corner was Mexico's Alberto Jimenez who had come over to Cardiff to face the challenger having won the WBO belt just four months before. The bout was a huge disappointment for the home fans as their hero was retired by his corner in the ninth. Regan was clearly behind on points but subsequently stated that he thought he could have gone on and won the fight over the closing rounds. It was only the second loss of his career.

December 1995, with the world title setback firmly behind him, the Welsh battler was granted a shot at the interim IBF world flyweight title against Tunisian, Ferid Ben Jeddou. Undefeated, Ben Jeddou was a hard-punching southpaw who had won fourteen of his nineteen fights, to date, inside the distance. On the night, Regan was simply magnificent as he battered the Tunisian fighter to a devastating two round defeat. A left hook from Regan left his opponent flat on the canvas. Interviewed after the fight Robbie said "Losing to Jimenez in that way made me hungry. I didn’t perform against Jimenez and I’d had problems before the fight but against Ben Jeddou I just went for it. I started catching him early and just kept on him". Regan was now the interim world flyweight champion.

In a surprising move, Regan then moved up to bantamweight for his next contest. Reasoning that he had struggled to make flyweight for some time and felt stronger and "a different fighter" at the higher weight. For his first bout at the new weight the little Welshman started at the top, none other than WBO world bantamweight champion Daniel Jimenez. Having failed in his bid to win the world flyweight title it was a big ask for Regan to wrench the title from a world champion at bantamweight.

Livefight.com remembers the contest thus:
From the first bell the challenger set a frenetic pace and seemed well ahead by half way. With the champion working his way into the fight and the pace slowing a shade many wondered if Regan could stay ahead.

In the eighth he would stop any of those thoughts in a single moment. Towards the end of the round a hard left hook thumped into the champion’s chin sending him down heavily.

The champion desperately tried to turn the tide but, especially with the knock-down, Regan was a worthy winner at the close of twelve tough rounds.

The official scores were 115-112,  116-111,  116-113 - in favour of the NEW world bantamweight champion, Wales' Robbie Regan !

Robbie had finally achieved his goal, was looking to take on all-comers and prove himself a worthy champion but a terrible twist of fate was to befall him.

As Robbie said himself in later years "“When I won the world title I expected to be defending my title and setting myself up for life but the year after I won it was probably the worst time of my life.” In a sad ending to a career that was still blossoming, Regan contracted glandular fever and was never able to defend his treasured world title. He was subsequently stripped of his belt by the WBO for being unable to defend it.

Two years later, in 1998, Regan attempted a comeback but was prevented from doing so as he failed a mandatory BBBofC brain scan.  

 

 
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