THE recent reference to the mystery surrounding former British light-heavyweight champion, Ron Barton, by Alex Daley in Boxing News (May 30), prompted me to dig deeper, and establish exactly how his life unfolded, after his successful ring career.
How could a former ABA and professional champion, a 1950s sporting celebrity, just disappear? For Ron, life after boxing was spent in domestic contentment, with wife Rose and his family. He continued to work at Smithfield meat market. Yet in his boxing heyday, he admitted in The People (December 22, 1957) that fame had gone to his head.
He ran two cars and bought 10 in two years. His wardrobe contained a dozen Savile Row suites, silks shirts and gold cufflinks. He was a regular feature in the society columns of the glossy magazines and the Kray twins were huge fans, often buying 200 tickets for his fights.