Tribute to a boxing legend from the Fens who in 1947 filled Fenland Park for Eastern title
PUBLISHED: 16:28 21 March 2013 | UPDATED: 16:28 21 March 2013
A WISBECH boxing legend has died after battling leukaemia.
Keith Weston, who fought twice for the Eastern Area Championship title in the 1940s, died on Monday morning aged 85.
His friend, Bill Smith, 65, recently spent “a wonderful evening with Keith reminiscing about the old times. He was a gentleman who couldn’t do enough for you.”
Bill, who lives in Outwell, met Keith when they worked together at Spillers Foods in the 1970s. “Through our mutual interest in boxing and our shared sense of humour we became very close friends,” he said.
By then, Keith’s professional boxing days were behind him but he still kept his hand in, helping out at a gym in the town and passing on his knowledge to the younger generations.
In his heyday, after serving in the Royal Navy, Guyhirn-born Keith was a star, and when the welterweight fought Mickey Thompson for the Eastern title in 1947, a ring was set up at Fenland Park and the ground was filled with spectators.
In the same year, he fought at Wembley Town Hall, one of the few times he boxed outside the region.
Later he sparred with the legendary boxer Freddie Mills in London and was paid £10 a round.
Bill said: “He grew up in the days when there were lots of boxers around and you had to be good – and Keith was good.”
Keith is survived by his wife Ann, three stepsons, and five step-grandchildren.
His funeral, at Mintlyn Crematorium in King’s Lynn on Wednesday April 3, will be at 11.30am, after which there will be a gathering at the Black Bear pub on Old Lynn Road.