Hector Thompson was a two-time world title challenger, a multiple weight Australian champion and a Commonwealth junior welterweight champion.
Born in 1949 near Kempsey on the mid-north coast of New South Wales, Thompson turned professional at the age of 20 after learning to box in the boys’ home that he grew up in after the death of his mother when he was young. Without a manager, Thompson fought preliminary bouts throughout Australia, winning 20 of his first 23 contests. In one of his earlier fights on 6 October 1970 in a bout in Newcastle, Thompson knocked out Roko Spanja in the 10th round. Spanja later died of injuries sustained in the fight. After winning the state lightweight title on 19 March 1971, Thompson fought for the Australian junior welterweight title on 12 July 1971, outpointing Melbourne fighter Leo Young to take the title.
After winning the Australian title, Thompson was signed by managers Doug James and Brian Ogilvie and he relocated to Brisbane. He built up a 16-fight winning streak including two defences of his Australian title before meeting New Zealand lightweight champion Manny Santos. After rising from a third-round knockdown, Thompson battled back to earn a draw over twelve rounds in one of the best fights seen on television in Australia. In a rematch four months later Thompson took the decision after 15 rounds. One month later he outpointed #7 world-rated Joe Tetteh to win the Commonwealth junior welterweight title and a #5 world rating.
Thompson’s success earned him a shot at Roberto Duran’s lightweight championship on 2 June 1973. In front of 15,000 fans in Panama City, Thompson fought bravely before succumbing to Duran’s two-handed assaults in the eighth round. He returned to the junior welterweight division, winning 16 of his next 17 fights including a seventh-round knockout over former world champion Alfonso Frazer to earn the #1 contender ranking in the division. Thompson returned to Panama City on 15 November 1975 for his second world championship shot, this time against long-time champion Antonio Cervantes. After seven hard-fought rounds, the ringside doctor stopped the bout due to a cut over Thompson’s right eye.
On 1 April 1976, Thompson stopped Chuck Wilburn in the tenth round of a bout at Blacktown in Sydney’s west and Wilburn became the second fighter to die from injuries sustained in a bout with Thompson. Thompson kept his world rating until 1979. He won the Australian welterweight title in 1977 but lost his Australian and Commonwealth titles to Laurie Austin later that year. He continued fighting until 1980 but retired after a pair of stoppage losses. In 87 career bouts, Thompson won 73 with many of his losses coming at the end of his career. Thompson died on 20 May 2020 at the age of 70.
Bill Lang was the second Australian to fight for the world heavyweight championship. Born in Carlton, Victoria, Bill Lang was an Australian Rules Footballer before he became a boxer, playing 54 games for Richmond between 1904 and 1909. During the 1902 Grand Final, Lang was sent from the field for fighting with one of the opposition players.
Lang had his first professional fight in 1905 with veteran “Starlight” Rollins, but the contest with was declared a draw due to both men repeatedly fouling each other. Lang built up a reputation as an average skilled boxer with a solid punch. On 4 March 1907 Lang fought his first big-money bout, losing on a technical knockout to the future heavyweight champion Jack Johnson in front of 15,000 fans at Richmond Race Course. The bout was fought in the pouring rain, and Johnson used his defensive prowess to tire Lang out before stopping him in the ninth round.
Two months later Lang fought for the vacant Australian heavyweight title. Bill Squires, the former champion, had left Australia to pursue a shot at the world champion and Lang fought Peter Felix to become the new champion. Felix had Lang down in the sixth round, but Lang came back to knock him out in the tenth and claim the title. Lang was an active champion, defending the title once a month through 1907, winning all of the bouts inside the distance.
When world heavyweight champion Tommy Burns toured Australia to defend against Squires, promoter Hugh D. McIntosh saw the opportunity to make more money by organising a fight between Burns and Lang. On 3 September 1908 in front of 16,000 fans in Melbourne, Lang dropped Burns in the second round of their world heavyweight championship bout before Burns came back to end matters in round six. Burns would lose the title to Johnson three months later.
With Squires back in Australia and recognised as the British Empire heavyweight champion, a match between the two top heavyweights in Australia was a natural. With 12,000 in attendance at Sydney Stadium, Lang stopped Squires in the 17th round to win the Commonwealth title. He knocked Squires out three more times before the end of his career in other meetings for the Australian heavyweight title. On 27 December 1909, Lang knocked out former heavyweight champion Bob Fitzsimmons in another defence of his heavyweight title. Lang lost the Empire title in a rematch with Tommy Burns in 1910, losing on points at Sydney Stadium in 1910.
Afterwards, Lang toured the United States and Europe. His most notable bout was in Great Britain when he was disqualified against Sam Langford for hitting him while he was on his knees. He returned to Australia in 1911, knocking out Squires for the fourth time before losing on a second-round knockout to top American heavyweight Sam McVea. Lang eventually lost his Australian title to Dave Smith on points in 1913 at Sydney Stadium. In retirement, Lang ran boxing classes before making a living as the owner of the Victoria Hotel in Melbourne. Lang died in 1952 at the age of 69.
Jack Carroll was one of the greatest boxers ever produced from Australia.
Born Arthur Hardwick in Kensington, Victoria in 1906, he turned professional at the age of 17 using the ring name Jack Carroll to hide his new career from his mother. He battled his way up through the preliminary bouts at West Melbourne Stadium and often took fights in regional Victoria. Under the guidance of Bill O’Brien, Carroll honed his boxing skills in the ring while working full-time in a bakery.
A chance encounter at a Sydney racetrack while on holiday earned Carroll a short-notice main event slot at Sydney Stadium. His opponent, Gil McGrath, was highly touted but Carroll stopped him in nine rounds. Two more wins in Sydney followed by a pair of wins in Brisbane earned Carroll a shot at the 18-year-old Australian welterweight champion Al Bourke. Carroll annexed the title with a seventh-round TKO win. Although Carroll would never lose the title in the ring, both Charlie Purdy and Wally Hancock later claimed the title after Carroll was disqualified in non-title bouts.
A disappointing points loss to Harry Casey on 16 August 1928 in his New Zealand debut set the stage for Carroll’s career to remain in Australia. The poor performance was due to seasickness suffered during the voyage. Carroll avenged the loss in his last bout overseas, and later stopped Casey in a 1929 Brisbane bout. A knockout loss to Meyer Grace derailed Carroll’s attempt to enter the world rankings before wins over Jack Kilbourne rejuvenated his career. A hand injury suffered in 1931 forced a six-month layoff, and when Carroll was knocked out by Fred Henneberry upon his return many thought his career as a top boxer was finished.
Carroll took a job in a slaughterhouse and found the act of ripping the flesh from the carcasses strengthened his hand and healed his hand injuries. After Henneberry won the Australian middleweight title from Ron Richards, he agreed to a rematch with Carroll but refused to put the title on the line. Carroll won every round and claimed the Australian middleweight title. He knocked out Bluey Jones in 1933 to reclaim the welterweight title he had never lost and then beat Henneberry again in another non-title match. 1934 wins over Todd Morgan, Wesley Ramey and Ron Richards at Sydney Stadium earned him a world ranking. In 1935 Carroll defeated Willard Brown, Bobby Wilson and Jack Portney within a four week period, but after his September 1935 bout with Paul Schaeffer was ruled a no-contest by Sydney Stadium referee Joe Wallis due to Schaeffer being overmatched, Carroll signed with Charlie Lucas and his Sydney Sports Ground venture.
Carroll faced world #2 contender Bep van Klaveren in the opening show at the Sydney Sports Ground on Boxing Day 1935, easily outpointing the 1928 Olympic Gold Medallist in front of 25,000 fans. When he again dominated van Klaveren in the rematch, many were calling for Carroll to fight for the world championship. Lucas negotiated a bout with Barney Ross for the world welterweight title, but the bout was cancelled when Lucas could not raise enough money to pay Ross’ £9,000 guarantee (the equivalent of ten years’ salary). Carroll refused offers to fight in the United States, partly because he did not want to risk his family’s wealth and partly because he hated the thought of the voyage.
Carroll scored some of his greatest wins in 1937 and 1938, defeating Jimmy Leto three times and former title challenger Izzy Jannazzo. With issues making the welterweight limit in his final three bouts, Carroll’s doctor advised him to retire. In retirement Carroll worked as a referee at West Melbourne Stadium. With his boxing earnings Carroll bought a new house in the Melbourne suburb of Moonee Ponds as well as a new car. At the height of his career Carroll was second to only cricketer Sir Donald Bradman in popularity but Carroll hated the limelight. Married with three children, Carroll drifted off into anonymity after retirement. He died of a heart attack at the age of 70 in 1976.
Andrew Moloney is a 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist and is currently ranked #8 junior bantamweight in the world by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board.
Moloney (twin brother of Jason) was one of Australia’s best recent amateur boxers. He won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and was the Australian amateur champion in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014. Despite narrowly missing Olympic selection in 2012, Andrew competed at the World Championships in 2011 and 2013 as well as the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Turning professional shortly after his triumph in Glasgow, Moloney won the Australian bantamweight title in 2015 before moving down to the junior bantamweight division where he won the OPBF and Commonwealth titles in 2017. Moloney has defeated Rene Dacquel, Luis Concepcion, Elton Dharry and Miguel Gonzalez, earning himself a top ten world rating in March 2018.
Moloney climbed as high as #7 in the rankings before losing to Joshua Franco in June 2020. In their November rematch, Moloney seemed to damage Franco’s right eye with a jab in round one, but the referee ruled the injury was caused by an accidental head clash and declared the bout a no-decision, robbing Moloney of avenging the loss.
Australian Titles 2009 2009-03-29 Shane Webster 19:7 (Final)
AIBA Presidents Cup (Azerbaijan) 2009-12-09 Rachid Oubaali 3:9
Australian Titles 2010 2010-03-19 Anthony Missale 10:0 2010-03-21 Dylan Perkins 7:5 (Final)
Konstantin Korotkov Memorial 2010-04-10 Elvin Mamishzade 15:11 2010-04-11 Artem Mirzayev 2:16 (Final)
Luke Jackson turned professional in 2013 after a successful amateur career and is currently a world ranked featherweight contender.
Jackson was a highly successful amateur, winning a bronze medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne as well as the Australian Championships in 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Competing in one of the toughest divisions in the Australian amateur scene, Jackson holds amateur wins over George Kambosos, Joel Brunker, Paul Flemming as well as future WBA title holder Nicholas Walters. Jackson was named Australia’s team captain at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and the London Olympics in 2012. At the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Jackson won his first two bouts before he was defeated by the eventual gold-medallist Thomas Stalker in the quarter finals.
After turning professional in 2013, Jackson won the Australian featherweight title in 2015 with a split decision over Will Young. Jackson worked his way up the WBO world rankings, earning a top ranking and a potential shot at their title holder Oscar Valdez. With Valdez out due to injuries, Jackson faced former junior featherweight world title holder Carl Frampton for the interim title, losing via TKO in the ninth round. Since the loss, Jackson has rebounded with three wins and is ranked by Australian Boxing Zone as the top featherweight in the country.
2004 Australian Championships 26-03-2004 Greg Eadie LDQ3
2005 Australian Championships 31-03-2005 Peter Rankin W 32:10 01-04-2005 Glen Gran L 9:17