Freddie Mills

“Fearless” Freddie Mills was born on June 26, 1919 in Bournemouth, England. In 1936, at the age of 17, he began a highly successful and colorful professional boxing career which made him the “darling” of the British fight scene. At 5′ 10″ and 175lbs., Mills was noted for his hard-charging, straight ahead style of brawling. It took 6 years for him to break into the world rankings. But in 1942 at the height of World War II, he knocked out Len Harvey in 2 rounds to capture the British Commonwealth Light heavyweight Championship. He went on to win the European 175 pound title with a knockout over Pol Goffaux, and in 1948 defeated Gus Lesnevich to win the World Light heavyweight Boxing Championship. Mills boxing career and championship days were numbered however. Noted for a “fast” lifestyle of enjoying the night-life, he was finished at 31 years old and after losing his World Championship to Joey Maxim on January 24, 1950, he retired. Mills was extremely popular even in retirement and ran a highly successful nightclub. He also had character roles in a number of films and was a presenter on the early BBC TV music show, Six-Five Special (1957). He died of gunshot wounds on July 25, 1965 under a cloud of mystery. Although he had tax problems and the official verdict was suicide, many people believe he was murdered.

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