Retro: Brute force Buster arrives on the Sheffield boxing scene

Buster Keeton, top left, in 1999 with Ingle gym-mates.
Buster Keeton, top left, in 1999 with Ingle gym-mates.

Twenty four years ago, this weekend, Sheffield scrapperJon ‘Buster’ Keeton burst on to the local boxing stage.

In his first professional contest he scored a first round stoppage over Tony Colclough in Mansfield.

He lost the next three of five, but went on to challenge for the British title three times.

As our picture shows the then WBO Intercontinental Crusierweight champion was surrounded by a lot of talent at the Ingle gym, here he is with Dave Coldwell, (Central Area Flyweight Champion) Johnny Nelson, (WBO World Cruiserweight Champion) Ryan Rhodes, (WBO Intercontinental Middleweight) Junior Witter (WBF World Light Welterweight Champion) and, centre, a new Wincobank recruit at super lightweight in Roger Sampson.

Keeton, now aged 45, retired in 2009 after bruising battles with the likes of Ovill McKenzie, Mark Hobson (twice) and Dean Francis.

He'd had a memorable won 28, lost 17 career, many of the matches in tough venues on the road - including bouts in Canada, Holland and Poland.

Buster and belt

Buster and belt

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Keeton in action at Ponds Forge

Keeton in action at Ponds Forge