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Toweel's former foe Charnley dies

Former British, Empire and European lightweight champion Dave Charnley has died.

Charnley, who fought South Africa’s Willie Toweel twice, died of lung cancer at his home in West Mauling, England, last Friday. He was 76 years old.

Toweel beat Charnley on points over 15 rounds in London in May 1959 in a challenge for the British Empire lightweight title. The Briton won a return match later the same year, also in London, on a tenth-round stoppage.

Charnley also defeated another South African, Alby Tissong, on points over eight rounds in November 1956.

The southpaw, known as the “The Dartford Destoyer”, challenged Joe Brown twice for the world lightweight title.

Brown beat him in Houston, Texas, in 1959 when the fight was stopped because of a cut, and narrowly outpointed him over 15 rounds in London in April 1961.

They met for a third time in 1963 when Charnley won a non-title fight on a sixth-round stoppage.

The classy Charnley retired in 1964 after a bad loss to world welterweight champion Emile Griffith who stopped him in the ninth round of another non-title fight.

Charnley was born in Dartford, Kent, on October 10, 1935. As an amateur he fought for the Fitzroy Lodge Club in London and won the British Amateur Boxing Association featherweight title in 1954.

He also won a bronze medal at the British and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver in 1954.

He made his professional debut at the age of 19 in October 1954, stopping Malcolm Ames in the third round. In 1957, he beat Joe Lucy to win the British lightweight title.

Ten months later he captured the European lightweight title when he stopped Italian Mario Vecchiatto in the tenth round.

Charley finished with a record of 48 wins, 12 losses and one draw. He won 27 fights inside the distance.

He invested his money wisely and became a wealthy businessman.

James Kirkwood wrote his biography, The Dartford Destroyer: The Life and career of Dave Charnley, which was published recently.


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