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Jul 04

Monty Betham Sr

Personal Life:

Montgomery ‘Monty’ Richard Betham Sr. (born September 27, 1952, Tuasivi, Samoa) is a former professional Boxer and Middleweight Champion.

Betham Sr. currently resides in Auckland and is married with two children (a daughter and son). His son is well-known former NRL Vodafone Warriors player and professional Boxer – Monty Betham Jr.

 

Professional Career:

Before turning professional, Betham Sr. fought over 100 fights as an Amateur boxer. He started his professional Boxing career in the early 1970’s. His first professional fight on record, was held on February 19, 1973 where he won by knockout against his opponent Billy Fruen. He would go on to win 21 of the next 24 matches before his biggest title fight in 1975.

On July 24, 1975, Betham Sr. won the Commonwealth Middleweight title against Carlos Marks by points in Wellington, New Zealand. He defended his Commonwealth Middleweight title 5 times from 1975 to 1978, before losing the title to Al Korovou in Fiji on March 17, 1978.

During his Boxing career from 1977-1978, Betham Sr. was under the watch of Legendary Boxing trainer and corner-man – Angelo Dundee (who recently passed away at age 90 on February 01, 2012). Dundee is best known for his work with Mohammad Ali and other Boxing Greats from past to present, such as George Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard to Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao.

In 1979, Betham Sr. fought Australian Boxer, Wally Carr, for the Australasian Middleweight title and won by points. By now, Betham Sr. had a 34-7-0 record. In that same year, Betham Sr. was ranked #2 in the World in Middleweight division.

Betham Sr. would fight Lance Revill (who is now the current President of the New Zealand Boxing Association) for the New Zealand Light-Heavyweight title on April 13, 1980 – Betham Sr. won by technical-knockout. That same year on December 15th, he faced Tony Mundine Sr. (father of Middleweight Champion, Anthony Mundine Jr.) to fight for the vacant Australasian Light-Heavyweight title. Tony Mundine Sr. went on to win that fight.

He would meet Lance Revill again a year later to defend his New Zealand Light-Heavyweight title, and on August 05, 1981, Betham Sr. won again by points.

After defending his title in August 1981, Betham Sr. would fight another two more times. His last 2 bouts were against Steve Dennis in December of the same year, and against another Samoan legendary boxer, Siaosi George Tanoa, from American Samoa in April 1982. Betham Sr. won both fights with the first match by points and the latter by knock-out.

Betham Sr. finished his boxing career in 1982 with an arousing 43-10-0 record. Until recently, Betham Sr. was the last Boxer to win a Commonwealth title as a Middleweight Champion for over 35 years. The most recent Commonwealth title was finally achieved under the Cruiserweight class in 2011.

 

Highlights & Awards:

  • 1975 Winner of the vacant Commonwealth Middleweight title -vs.- Carlos Marks
  • 1979 Winner of the Australasian Middleweight title -vs.- Wally Carr
  • 1980 Winner of the New Zealand Boxing Association Light-Heavyweight title -vs.- Lance Revill

Legacy:

  • Betham Sr. is the First Samoan and only 1 of 10 New Zealander’s to win a Commonwealth title in New Zealand history records
  • First Samoan and New Zealand Boxer to rank #2 in the World in Middleweight division

 

Source – Monty Betham Jr., Wikipedia, BoxRec, Fight Times

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