Though I had met their father Terry when he was a schoolboy, little did I know at the time that years later I would witness the father and the two sons, Richie and Nigel Wenton, boxing on the same shows on numerous occasions. I can honestly say that it’s been a privilege to have been in such company. When I was with my wife and then ‘young’ grandson Tom. Terry came over and said to young Tom ‘Your Grandad and I go back 40 years’.
Richie Wenton’s career is one that provokes much interest and talking points amongst boxing fans and always will. The recorded bouts only tell so much of the story and little in depth of a great career.
At the time Richie was boxing as an amateur, a great glug of talent emerged on Merseyside that was later to rise to the top in the pro ranks. Franny Harding, Danny ‘Boy’ Peters, the Wright brothers (Carl and Paul), Peter Culshaw, Gary Thornhill, Paul Hodkinson, Shea Neary, Andy Holligan, plus Richie and his brother Nigel.
Nigel Wenton and Danny Peters went into my book as the most naturally talented boys I had seen come out of Merseyside since John Conteh. Shea Neary, Peter Culshaw and Paul Hodkinson won versions of World titles, Andy Holligan won a British title on two occasions and a Commonwealth title and fought the great Julio Cesar Chavez.
What a galaxy of talent and achievement and out of all that talent one man stands out in making boxing history on two occasions. His place in British boxing history cannot be questioned or equalled.
Richie Wenton vs Paul Lloyd
That boxer is Richie Wenton who became the first ever British Super Bantamweight Champion when he defeated Bradley Stone by a TKO in round 10 at York Hall, Bethnall Green on 26th April 1994. On 6th February 1996 he went on to defeat Wilson Docherty to win a Lonsdale belt outright. A remarkable feat.
In his sixth bout Richie fought a man who would become a World Champion at Super Flyweight in Mark Johnson of Texas. Johnson had been a top class amateur and is spoken of as a future Hall of Fame candidate. Richie’s record is a litany of fearless confrontations with tough men such as Graham O’Malley, Miguel Matthews and Sean Casey. Sean could give anybody a hard time in the ring. Unlike some, Richie did not avoid any tough challenge put before him.
As his career progressed championship class boys provided plenty of opposition, and Richie more than held his own at this stage. In no small way his success was due to the excellent early tuition he was given. Though Richie, along with Nigel boxed for various clubs along with their father Terry, not only did these clubs provide the quality of training Richie needed to progress. But in their father they had the ideal tutor to make a difference which he clearly did.
In proof of that Richie boxed for England winning many school and junior ties. His record of 108 matches with just 13 losses confirms that early promise. There is no doubt that even in his youth he was some boxer.
With solid grooming and a talent and a talent like his, it was inevitable with dedicated hard work, that Richie would hit the heights. He hit those heights on defeating Bradley Stone, but tragedy affected Richie when Bradley died and his career went on hold.
Interview with Richie Wenton about his career
Yet Richie did not abandon his beloved sport for which he had such a great talent. His next bout was against Neil Swain, a highly ranked champion. Richie put on a creditable show but retired on his stool. In truth he remained badly shaken by Bradley’s death and it seemed as if his blossoming career was soon to end as a result.
However, no doubt driven by the rich pool of talent then pursuing the sport of boxing on Merseyside, Richie once more returned to the ring. Another Merseyside boxer, Paul Lloyd, was making waves at super bantamweight. Lloyd had a large following and a suitably inspired Richie took him on at Chester’s Northgate Arena in front of an audience of 2000 of which Richie had some 100 followers supporting him.
That night Richie Wenton gave an exhibition of boxing that any all time great would have been proud of. His moves and combination punching were spellbinding. He produced a masterclass performance that is unlikely to be seen again in Chester and will never be forgotten by those who saw it. Richie Wenton was back.
In his next bout Richie defeated Michael Parris for the WBO Continental title and he then travelled to Italy to fight for a version of their European Super bantamweight title.
Richie now went up to featherweight and after further success he became the WBO number one contender for the title, then fighting the great Mexican Marco Barrera for the WBO title. Although losing to the fabulous Mexican he put up a creditable display as always.
Richie Wenton vs Marco Antonio Barrera
Finally after a technical defeat by Scott Harrison, Richie called it a day finishing with an overall record of 30 bouts and 24 wins against the best the UK and World had to offer.
Combied with his entire career record we can clearly see what a great boxer Richie was. But it was, maybe, in that match with Paul Lloyd that he reached his own peak of perfection, stamping his indellible mark on this sport of kings with an imperious performance against another formidable and worthy exponent of the art of boxing.
Good Luck, God Bless,