The New Zealand 2020 Olympic triumphs and achievements, have been tinged with some sadness for the Boxing New Zealand community, with the passing on 3rd August 2021 of 1964 Olympian Brian Maunsell.
Brian Maunsell, fought out of the St Anne’s Boxing Club in Woolston, Christchurch, where he was trained by his father Martin, with assistance from Ron Mitchell.
The St Anne’s Club pugilist won the first of four Light Welterweight National titles, when he beat Heine Forsyth who would go on to win the New Zealand Welterweight professional title, in the title decider at the 1957 National Championships in Greymouth.
After missing the 1958 Championships, he returned to National Championship competition in devastating fashion in Timaru the following year. He easily got past his first two opponents in preliminary competition, before stopping Tom Mu in the Final.
Brian’s overwhelming punching power was on display at the 1960 National Championships, where all of his four fights were stopped by the referee, within two rounds. He was rewarded by for his powerhouse performances, when he added the Jameson Belt, to the Light Welterweight prize of the Geoff Watchorn Belt.
His last National championship title came in front of a hometown crowd, in Christchurch in 1963, where his form earned selection at the 1964 Olympic Games held in Tokyo, with three TKO decision wins
Brian Maunsell joined Hawkes Bay lightweight Paddy Donovan, at the first Olympics held in Japan, in the two-man Kiwi boxing team managed by Syd Ashton. Brian lost his first round preliminary contest, to a Russian opponent, when the referee stopped the fight due to the New Zealander suffering a cut eye.
The big punching Canterbury boxer then embarked on what was a short and sharp professional career, during 1965 and 1966. Six wins from seven fights, all held in Christchurch, were on his record card when he finally hung up his gloves.
In his fourth pro bout, he beat future Commonwealth professional champion Manny Santos, winning the New Zealand Boxing Association Lightweight title. His last fight came with return bout with Santos, with his Lightweight crown at stake, with defeat the only loss of his professional career.
RIP Brian Martin Maunsell (1937 - 2021)
Article added: Saturday 07 August 2021