Jim Watt is the legendary Scottish southpaw whose sheer physical strength and aggression enabled him to become British, European and world lightweight champion.
Born in Glasgow in 1948, the young fighter trained at the Cardowan Amateur Boxing Club in Maryhill, rising through the ranks to become a successful amateur.
After beating John H Stracey to the ABA Championships in 1968, the 5ft 7in boxer turned professional immediately, declining the chance to compete at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico.
After entering the pro ranks, Jim twice held the British lightweight title, winning it against Tony Riley in 1972 before losing it the following year to former world champion Ken Buchanan. He regained the crown in 1975 against Johnny Cheshire and added the European title two years later by beating Andre Holyk.
After thrashing former light-welter world champ Perico Fernandez in his third defence of the European title in 1979, Jim was pitched against WBC champion, Colombian Alfredo Pituala for the world crown. He duly came of age in front of 10,000 delirious spectators at the Kelvin Hall in Glasgow, grinding down Pituala in 12 rounds of non-stop aggression.
He dominated the division for the next two years, successfully defending his title four times and beating Olympic gold medallist Howard Davies and future WBA champion Sean O'Grady. It took the great Alexis Arguello to finally take his title, as the Scot was outfought over 15 rounds at Wembley Stadium in 1981. Although Arguello dropped him briefly, the outgoing champion went out on his shield in typical gritty fashion.
Jim retired from boxing after winning 38 of his 46 professional fights, 27 by knockout. Away from the ring, he worked as an after-dinner speaker and popular boxing commentator. He was awarded the MBE for services to boxing in 1980 and received the freedom of the city of Glasgow the following year.
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