Johnny Owen was a professional boxer from the Welsh town of Merthr Tydfil, a town which has famously produced numerous world champion boxers. Owen already held a British, Commonwealth and European belt at bantamweight when in 1984 at the age of 24 he was given the opportunity to travel to LA to fight Lupe Pintor for his WBC World Bantamweight title.
The fight was to end in tragedy when in the 12th round of the 15 round bought he was knocked out cold. He would never wake up. The Johnny Owen Story is an old documentary which – as the title suggests – tells the story of Owen’s life in Merthyr, his rise to fame and the effect of his death on his family and the people of Merthyr.
Almost two decades after the tragedy his father Dick Owen flew to Mexico to meet the man who landed the fatal blow on that tragic night, he then brought Pintor back to Merthyr so that he could unveil a statue of Johnny Owen in Merthyr town centre. This journey was recorded for the documentary Johnny Owen: The Long Journey.
To learn more about the life, career, and untimely death of Johnny Owen read the 2007 Rick Broadbent book The Big If: The Life and Death of Johnny Owen, available in hardback or paperback from Amazon. The author, an award-winning sports journalist with The Times, wrote the book with the full blessing of Dick Owen and Lupe Pinto.