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World Boxing Federation Champions Of The Past: James Hare
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FEATURE   Photo: James Hare, "The Roberttown Rocket", former World Boxing Federation (WBF) World Welterweight Champion. 

Since the World Boxing Federation was originally founded by American Larry Carrier in 1988, many of the sport’s biggest names have won a WBF title, and proudly defended the blue, red and gold belt all over the world.

In the Champions Of The Past Series we take a closer look at some of the boxers who held WBF titles in years gone by, from lesser known champions to world renowned fighters, legends of the sport and current or future Hall of Famers.


Former World Boxing Federation (WBF) World Welterweight Champion James Hare was nineteen when he turned professional, beating Brian Coleman (7-34-4) on points over six rounds on the Daniel Jimenez vs. Drew Docherty undercard in Mansfield, England on January 20, 1996.

At some point the Englishman was nicknamed “The Roberttown Rocket”. While he was born in Dewsbury, Roberttown became his home-town, but he claims he has no idea where the nickname came from, saying “I was hardly rocket launched, was I?”

In just over three years Hare compiled an unbeaten record of 13-0 (5), fighting the common line of journeymen opponents, mainly on shows promoted by Frank Warren, before he was matched in his first real test against former British Champion Mark Winters (13-2) in October of 1999.

Hare and Winters each won two rounds and two rounds were scored even by referee Lee Cook, making the fight a draw after six rounds. It was a good learning fight for Hare, but also suggested that he needed more seasoning before stepping up further in class.

He gained experience in routine victories over Dean Nicholas (9-9-1), Mark Ramsey (17-32-6), Paul Denton (7-21-2) and Jessy Moreaux (5-11-3), before a more challenging assignment, a British title-eliminator against John Humphrey (9-1) was arranged for York Hall in London on May 26, 2001.

With Steve Roberts defending the WBF World Super Welterweight title against South African William Gare as top of the bill, Hare stopped Humphrey in seven rounds and showed that he was starting to find his groove in the paid ranks.

He followed up with another good win, beating decent Frenchman John Ameline (13-3-2) by shut-out decision, and then a second victory over Paul Denton to stay busy before challenging for the vacant European Union title on January 28, 2002.

Hare was again on point, winning all ten rounds on two judges cards and nine on the third, putting Ivory Coast-born Frenchman Money Seka (10-1-1) firmly in his place to take home his first professional title in impressive fashion.

Three months later Hare was ready to take another step up the latter, as he dethroned reigning Commonwealth Champion Julian Holland (28-2-1), stopping the Australian in six rounds. Holland had beaten highly ranked compatriot Shannan Taylor to win the title less than a year earlier.

In the next ten months Hare continued to climb the world rankings, as he defended the Commonwealth crown with victories over Farai Musiyiwa (13-2), Earl Foskin (8-1-1) and Frans Hantindi (8-1-2), stopping his challengers in eight, one and one round.

After demolishing Hantindi in just 25 seconds in February of 2003, it was clear that Hare needed new challenges and that he was more than ready to compete at world level. So next he was matched with Ukrainian Roman Dzhuman (16-1) for the vacant WBF World Welterweight title.

Hare and Dzhuman, who had attended the same World Junior Championships in the amateurs, Dzhuman capturing silver but Hare getting eliminated in one of the early rounds, fought on June 21, 2003 on a massive bill in Manchester, promoted by Matchroom Boxing.

On the same card Mihaly Kotai, who at the time was managed by now recently departed WBF Executive Director Olaf Schroeder, not affiliated with the WBF at the time, won the WBF World Super Welterweight crown, and Sergio Martinez, Brian Magee and Michael Brodie emerged victories in IBO world title fights.

Televised live on Sky Sports from the iconic M.E.N. Arena, Hare put on a masterclass as he out-boxed the game and gifted Dzhuman to win by wide unanimous decision: 120-109, 120-108 and 119-108 on the judges scorecards.

It is often said that winning a world title is the “easy part”, and that remaining champion is the real challenge. But Hare didn't have any problems retaining his belt the following September, stopping accomplished South African contender Jan Piet Bergman (42-4) in the second round, scoring six knock-downs along the way.

Against Bergman, who was expected to give Hare a much tougher time than was the actual case, the WBF World Champion was the headlining act on another Sky Sports televised Matchroom-show, this time in Huddersfield.

Hare provided real value for money for fans in the arenas and TV viewers, so when the Bergman fight was quickly over he was soon booked to make his second title-defense five weeks later, on October 18 back at the M.E.N. Arena.

In the opposite corner stood tough Hungarian Jozsef Matolcsi (17-3), and this time Hare would not have such an easy ride. In an all-out war, with both boxers hitting the canvas in round four, Hare eventually prevailed by tenth round stoppage.

Many felt that it was the best fight of the night, which is some statement as the co-main event between Michael Brodie and In Jin Chi for the WBC World Featherweight title is considered something of a modern day classic.

The thrilling victory made Hare more popular than ever, and he was a clear favorite for his third title-defense on December 4, 2003 in Huddersfield against battle-tested but fairly limited Mexican Cosme “Chino” Rivera (25-7-2).

Unfortunately for Hare, Rivera, who had won his last four fights against good opposition, had his own ideas. Using every trick in the book to unsettle Hare, the Mexican dominated from the start and was ahead on all scorecards when he hurt and floored Hare in the tenth, forcing the Englishman´s corner to throw in the towel.

It had been a great, but very quick run for Hare. In less than six months he had won the WBF World title in June, made two successful defenses and then lost the title again before the year was out. Four world championship fights in such a shot period, and against good opponents, is more or less unheard of.

Hare bounced back in 2004 with decent victories over Jason Williams (15-9) and Moise Cherni (15-3), but he couldn't reclaim his old form and was stopped in six rounds by up-and-comer David Barnes (15-0) in a fight for the British title in November.

Three routine wins lead to a loss on points to Robert Lloyd Taylor (12-4) in November of 2006, which turned out to be the final fight of James Hare´s ten year professional career. European Union, Commonwealth and WBF World Champion, his final record stands at 33-3-1 (19).

  Part 65: Anne Sophie Mathis
  Part 64: Earl Butler
  Part 63: Dave Russell
  Part 62: Tony Dodson
  Part 61: Pete Taliaferro
  Part 60: Fredrik Alvarez
  Part 59: Ajose Olusegun
  Part 58: Chevelle Hallback
  Part 57: Evander Holyfield
  Part 56: Peter Culshaw
  Part 55: Rolando Toyogon
  Part 54: Joaquin Velasquez
  Part 53: Steve Molitor
  Part 52: Nadya Hokmi
  Part 51: Bert Cooper
  Part 50: Alfred Kotey
  Part 49: Yosuke Nishijima
  Part 48: Wayne Rigby
  Part 47: Jesus Chong
  Part 46: Renata Szebeledi
  Part 45: Lester Ellis
  Part 44: Patrick Vungbo
  Part 43: Patrick Washington
  Part 42: Ric Siodora
  Part 41: Guy Waters
  Part 40: Natascha Ragosina
  Part 39: Nicky Cook
  Part 38: Fahprakorb Rakkiatgym
  Part 37: Felix Camacho
  Part 36: Homer Gibbins
  Part 35: Joe Bugner
  Part 34: Myriam Lamare
  Part 33: Darrin Morris
  Part 32: Suwito Lagola
  Part 31: Aaron Zarate
  Part 30: Tommy Small
  Part 29: Matthew Charleston
  Part 28: Jane Couch
  Part 27: Fahlan Sakkreerin
  Part 26: Kenny Keene
  Part 25: Yvan Mendy
  Part 24: Ronnie Magramo
  Part 23: Randall Yonker
  Part 22: Holly Holm
  Part 21: Vinnie Curto
  Part 20: Robin Reid
  Part 19: Lionel Butler
  Part 18: Mads Larsen
  Part 17: Ken Sigurani
  Part 16: Orlando Fernandez
  Part 15: Roger Turner
  Part 14: Roy Jones Jr.
  Part 13: Fitz Vanderpool
  Part 12: Steve Roberts
  Part 11: Thulani "Sugarboy" Malinga
  Part 10: Junior Witter
  Part 9: Jimmy Thunder
  Part 8: Juan Lazcano
  Part 7: Jeff Malcolm
  Part 6: Ricky Parkey
  Part 5: Carl Daniels
  Part 4: Angel Manfredy
  Part 3: Samson Dutch Boy Gym
  Part 2: Greg Haugen
  Part 1: Johnny Nelson

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