Merseyside Boxing Archive

A key part of this website is to catalogue and give context to photographs, documents and other archival objects that help to represent Merseyside's rich boxing heritage.

The entire database can be searched from this page. Enjoy exploring our archive, and if you have any images or memorabilia you would like to contribute we would be very pleased to hear from you.

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Johnny Basham

aka 'The Happy Wanderer'

born: 13/09/1890, Newport, Wales
died: 07/07/1947

John Michael Basham was a Welshman, but most of his fights were at Pudsey Street, where he was popular with the crowds, and he eventually settled in Liverpool. Tragically, in one such fight, on 21st August 1913, his 11th-round knock-out of Harry Price resulted in the South African's death. After the fight, Basham was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm, and Price's subsequent death led to a manslaughter charge. Basham attracted considerable public sympathy, and he was acquitted by the magistrate, who held that the fight had been conducted fairly and sportingly - a verdict which helped safeguard the future of boxing. It was a pity that this tragedy overshadowed a highly successful career, which brought British, Empire and European titles, though his only title fight in Liverpool, for the European crown in 1915, ended in defeat.

Fight History
60 (KO's 24)
Divisions fought in


 Johnny Basham

 Johnny Basham with his manager