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Manny was a tip for the top.

LAWRENCE Osueke's Uncle Manny was captain of a Great Britain amateur squad in New York who, later in his career, having taken the coin of the realm, was named as the best British heavyweight prospect of 1989 by the Boxing News.

He had just defeated Dave Garside, a tough nut from Teesside, taking every one of the eight rounds and had left the arena with a semi-finalist in the Miss Great Britain contest on his arm. A double winner if ever there was one!

Manny Jnr and Snr - son and father - were both ahead of their time, winning the equivalent of Prizefighter long before Barry Hearn dreamed up the latest TV blockbuster.

"Dad won a Jack Solomons heavyweight competition and I took a similar Prizefighter type title staged by Eddie Thomas," said Manny Jnr.

"Mine, at Northampton in 1988, was supposed to be a pounds 2,000 winner-takesall contest, but I finished up with only five hundred quid!

"I fought a three-round semi-final at 8.30pm and a six-round final at 10pm."

Burgo turned pro with local promoter Gus Robinson before hitching his wagon to London hotshots Barry Hearn and Frank Maloney.

He had 15 paid fights, won 13 of them, and was never knocked out.

"When I was an amateur, the ABAs were for all British fighters, not just English, and we never wore headgear," he recalled. "I reached the GB semis, but never the final like Lawrence.

"It took me 11 years to get close to where Lawrence is now after three.

"I won England and GB vests, of course.

"I remember going to New York with a young lad called Glenn McCrory."
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 25, 2010
Words:275
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