Des Rea, Northern Irish boxer, Died at 72

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Des Rea was born on born January 8, 1944, in Belfast and died in 2016.

He was a Northern Irish former boxer.

Des Rea was the first holder of the British junior welterweight title and went on to fight for the European title before moving up to welterweight at which he won the Irish title.

Rea grew up in Liverpool, former cost accountant (for English Electric) Rea made his professional debut in November 1964 with a fifth round stoppage of Ken Hinds.

Des had won eight of his first nine fights before beating Bob Sempey in September 1965 to take the vacant BBBofC Northern Ireland Area welterweight title.

The following two years after that, he had mixed results, winning five times but losing to Shaun Doyle, Jose Stable, Brian Curvis and Peter Cobblah.

During February 1968 he fought Vic Andreetti for the newly-created British light welterweight title at the York Hall, Bethnal Green; Rea took a points decision to become British champion.

Rea unsuccessfully challenged for Bruno Arcari’s European title in Sanremo, Italy, In August 1968 Arcari stopping him in the sixth round.

During November 1968, Rea went to the United States to face José Nápoles in a World title eliminator, losing via a fifth round TKO.

He defended his British title in February 1969 against Andreetti at the Nottingham Ice Rink; The fight again went the distance but, Andreetti took the round.

The two met a third time eight months later, Andreetti at that time retained the title with a fourth round stoppage.

Rea excelled up to welterweight and challenged for Gus Farrell’s Irish title in February 1970, taking the title after knocking Farrell out in the eleventh round.

He continued until 1974, having a further 39 fights but never again challenged for a title.

He was associated with the Kray twins, whom he first met in 1967 and who he claims told him they would get him a British title fight, a European title fight, and a world title eliminator, all of which later happened.

Des Rea passed away at 72 years old.

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