BORN in the Gorbals, the slum tenements on the south bank of the Clyde in Glasgow, 5st Benny Lynch joined a local boys’ boxing club, then graduated to the more famous L.M.S Rovers Club. But Benny wanted the glamour of the paid ring, so when a boxing booth appeared on a bit of waste ground in the neighbourhood, young Lynch asked for a job. He got paid five shillings from booth owner, and became a regular performer. Local trainer Sam Wilson was so impressed with him he got him work in the small halls around Glasgow. Lynch crammed in 48 fights in his first three years.
He won the Scottish flyweight title and boxed a draw with world champion Jackie Brown. Six months later, aged 22, he floored Manchester’s Brown eight times before referee Moss Deyong stopped the fight in two sensational rounds. Lynch was flyweight champion of the Britain, Europe and the world. He was feted everywhere he went, started drinking heavily and the three months of celebrating his world title win sowed the seeds of his ultimate downfall.
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