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My early years, was in Jamaica, until 1956, when my grandmother died, and my dad came from England, for the funeral. Because of her death, I and my younger sister (Jennifer) had to return with him to the UK, England.

I did not do very much in my early years, when I attended my primary school in London. We lived in Kentish Town, London.

At the age of twelve, I went to a boarding school, (I was the only Afro Caribbean – Black – Student) who stayed there. I was there until I was sixteen years old. I completed all my required GCSE studies. Including, English, Mathematics, Geography, Science, History, Law, Business and some medical. My family expected me to go to university, I had my pick (choice) of universities, but my only ambition was to become the best boxer which meant that I had to do this full time. Everyone wanted me to do other sports, I.e. Rugby and Athletics, which I liked very much, but my passion was boxing and the universities did not have the facility or the requirement for boxing.

I boxed as an amateur, for two and a half years, after being denied going into the last rounds to the A.B.A, championship. I then decided to become "Professional" at the tender age of Seventeen.

I enrolled at a London college, to further my studies, and continued boxing at the same time; I then decided that I did not want to commit myself to the other love of my life, (LAW) for personal reasons. I stopped my full time studies for LAW and other courses to concentrate on my first LOVE, boxing. However, I discovered, that no Immigrants were allowed to fight for any British title (A chance to fight for a Lonsdale belt). I was more determine and decided, right then, that I wanted to be the first Foreigner to achieve this. I became "Professional" and met with George Francis, also known as the "White Witch Doctor", who became my manager. (I was his first fighter, other managers wanted me to sign up with them, but I had known this man, since I was eleven years old… This was a "No contest". He went on to train and manage such champion as, John Conteh, Frank Bruno, Lenny Gibbs (Amateur and Professional), John Mugabe, Boza Edwards, etc. All said, I was the first BLACK IMMIGRANT, to be allowed to fight for the British title ( September, 8th 1970).
I fought for the British and Commonwealth Middleweight title, as dated above ( I was BLACK and was not expected to win), it was my third title, having won the Souther-Area Middleweight, some months back, but never defended it.
I had to box various eliminators, against the best middleweight around to prove that I had the ability, but this was not the reason, it was assumed that I would be beaten, which would prevent me, if I was beaten, to fight for the full title, and also to stop me becoming a part of the English history (unless you were born in the UK, you could not fight for the title). I was determine to become the first, and that I did, despite

I also went on to become European Middleweight champion (without having a promoter helping me) and also fought and won, six final eliminators, to fight for the World title. ( I did not have a promoter, getting me fights, so I was denied the chance, even though I was rated number two in the ratings). The World title was important but this was never my ambition or driving force, it was never my "GOAL". The British title was my "GOAL", and I defended it five times, and won. I won the best belt in the World – THE LONDSDALE BELT.  I was now part of "History" and no one could take this from me.

It was on a visit to Canada, to defend my Commonwealth title, against the South African champion (South Africa was sanctioned, so I declined to go there, even though the money that was offered was very difficult to turn down. I had to defend my title or be stripped of the title, but my manager had a friend who contacted me and asked if he got a promoter in Canada to put on the fight, would I be interested. I was confident to fight any where. The fight was agreed and I won, in the fifteenth rounds. I met various celebrities in the Music business, Movie stars, Sports, including, the ruler of Saudi Arabia, who was going to back the South African champion to beat me. We had a discussion and I told him that he was making a mistake and would lose his money.  I changed his mind and he backed me to win. We became friends and he introduced and trained me in the oil business.
I did it, when I did not know or have anything to do with this business. Now I am involved fully as my business.
I have been on tankers to various destinations, in refineries in many countries, in the oil fields, including, at the time of the war in Kuwait.
Bunny Sterling Ali John Conteh
Please make your contribution to:
Caribbean Boys in Care Limited, HSBC, 15 THE MALL, STRATFORD, London, E15 1XL, England. Phone - +44 (0)8457 606060
Account number: 31759566 - Sort code: 400630 --- Charity Number: 1125520
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Thank you for helping us to play our small part in the success of these abandoned children's future.
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