Known for his brilliant footwork and use of the ring, Walter McGowan won 32 out of 40 fights during his eight-year career, 14 of them by knockout.
Born in Hamilton in 1942, Walter won the Amateur Boxing Association (ABA) flyweight title in 1961. His first professional bout came in August the same year, when he beat George McDade at Glasgow’s Kelvin Hall with a technical knockout in the third round.
Two years later he stepped into the ring for his first title fight and he clinched the British and Commonwealth flyweight crowns with a win against Jackie Brown, who had beaten him to the BBBofC Scottish Area Flyweight title 18 months earlier.
In September 1963, he successfully defended his Commonwealth title against Killer Salomon from Jamaica, then turned his attention to the European title in 1964. Walter’s defeat by Salvatore Burruni was only the second of his career, but he made up for it two years later when he won the world flyweight championship against the same opponent. He went on to win the British and Commonwealth bantamweight titles the same year, defeating Alan Rudkin on points.
Walter had one more unique achievement to his name before he retired in 1969, becoming the first Scottish world-champion boxer to be recognised in the 1966 Queen’s Birthday Honours, when he was recognised with an MBE.
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