A Tribute To Errol Christie, Only British Boxer to Win All Ten Amateur Titles
By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
Not every boxer wins a world champion. An amateur champion in his own right, Coventry West Midlands Errol Christie had an amateur record of 78-2, and is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the only British boxer to win all ten amateur titles. Errol compiled a record of 32-8-1 with 28 knockouts from 1982 to 1993 in the United Kingdom, winning 20 of his first 21 bouts, including a decision win over welterweight contender Sean Mannion, and French champion Joel Bennetaz. Christie covered the ranks from welterweight to light heavyweight.
Errol succumbed to lung cancer at age 53, believed primarily to be caused by his fighting in steamy local venues permeated by heavy cigarette smoke back in the era before smoking in public places was outlawed.
After boxing, Errol worked as both a standup comedian, a market trader, an instructor of white collar boxing, and a movie fight consultant. In 2010 Christie wrote the autobiography ‘No Place to Hide’. The book won the William Hill Sports Prize in 2010.
What made Christie so popular was his rich and colorful personality, sense of humor, and knowledge of the boxing game. He had successfully reinvented himself five times, adding to his character and public interest. His 98 percent amateur win percentage, based on 80 or more amateur bouts, ranks as one of the best all-time among amateur champions. Discounting his comeback loss to Trevor Ambrose after three years of inactivity in 1993, Christie had a respectable 08 percent win ratio as a pro, with a 65 percent knockout ratio. Despite the proclivity of British professional title, Christie never fought for one, going the road of the area club shows, where his bouts and presence remain the stuff of local legend. Widely believed to have fought all of his amateur and professional bouts in the United Kingdom, Christie, a British original, actually fought three bouts in the United States early in his pro career. Errol fought his seventh and eight bouts in Michigan and New Jersey in 1983, and his thirteenth bout in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1984, all in the United States.