The passing of boxing champion Lionel Rose has been met with great sadness around the country.

Rose was the first indigenous Australian boxer to win a world title and was hailed as a true champion by Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Alex Fynes-Clinton reports


No sooner had news of his passing surfaced than the local tributes started to pour in for Lionel Rose.

Ipswich local Noel Kunde, the man Rose beat to claim his first Australian title was full of praise for the legendary boxer.

Noel Kunde, Former Opponent: “Tough fighter. He would fight flat out from go to woah. I was really flat out keeping up with him.”

Rose defeated Japanese boxer Masahiko “Fighting” Harada to win his world title, going the full fifteen round distance to win by points.

He was the first Aborigine to be named Australian of the Year and was made a member of the Order of the British Empire.

He’d recently suffered from several heart attacks and a serious stroke before passing away.

Kunde said Rose would go down as a role model and true legend of the sport.

Noel Kunde, Former Opponent: “He was of real stature for the aboriginal people that could look up to the man. Especially young Aboriginal fighters.”

Alex Fynes-Clinton, QUT News.