Dick Turpin Dead; First British Black Boxing Champion
LONDON (AP) _ Dick Turpin, the first black fighter to win a British boxing title, has died in his hometown of Leamington Spa at age 69, newspapers reported today.
Turpin was the eldest of three boxing brothers but did not achieve the fame of Randolph Turpin, who beat Sugar Ray Robinson in 1951 for the world middleweight title. The other brother, Jackie, was a successful featherweight.
Dick and Randy Turpin rendered British boxing an ″inestimable service,″ said The Times of London.
The ring ability and popularity of the brothers ″made it impossible for the British Boxing Board of Control to sustain its iniquitous color bar against black boxers taking part in championship contests,″ The Times obituary said.
When the board relented, Dick Turpin won the British Commonwealth title on May 10, 1948, knocking out Bos Murphy of New Zealand in 2 minutes, 55 seconds. On June 28, he beat Vince Hawkins on points to take the British middleweight title.
Dick lost his Commonwealth title in September 1949 to Dave Sands of Australia and his British title in March 1950 to Albert Finch. He then retired and helped his brothers in their careers.
Dict Turpin died Saturday. The cause of death was not reported.
Jackie Turpin survives his brothers. Randolph committed suicide in 1966.