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’ALEXANDER THE GREAT’

Catching up with a proud Croydonian at LEBA’s December meeting
Simon Euan-Smith simonoldtimers@googlemail.comEBA correspondent

I WAS delighted to meet Wayne Alexander – former British and European super-welterweight champion – at London EBA’s December meeting. Wayne boxed professionally from 1995 to 2006, and I covered many of his bouts for the Croydon Advertiser. Wayne told me he’d joined LEBA and would be attending meetings regularly. I asked him if he’d consider joining Croydon EBA. “I’d like to, and maybe I will – I’m a Croydon man, through and through,” he said. “But I live in Ruislip now! I thought I’d make a fresh start, and I’ve got a good job in security – close protection.” Wayne won 24 of 27 outings, 18 inside the distance. He was a terrific one-shot finisher – I’ll never forget the single punch that flattened Takaloo at York Hall in September 2004. He’d previously had a shot at the useful (and hard-hitting) Namibian, Harry Simon, in a WBO title bid. Wayne took the bout at less than 24 hours’ notice and shook the champion early on before (understandably) succumbing in round five. It was Wayne’s first defeat. He outscored Thomas McDonagh over 12 in Manchester in March 2006 – chief support to Joe Calzaghe’s brilliant win over Jeff Lacy to unite the IBF and WBO super-middleweight belts. After losing to Frenchman Serge Vigne nine months later, Alexander never boxed again. He didn’t actually announce his retirement, but some months after the Vigne loss he told me: “I’m up at 12 stone and I just don’t have the motivation to get the weight off.” A puncher’s always popular, and Wayne provided some great memories.

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