Lionel Rose: Google Doodle celebrates the first Indigenous Australian world champion bantamweight boxer

celebrating lionel rose

Google Doodle celebrates an Australian bantamweight boxer Lionel Rose, the first Indigenous Australian to win a world title and later became the first Indigenous Australian to be named Australian of the Year, on December 10, 2021.

Who was Lionel Rose?

Lionel Rose
Lionel Rose

Born and raised at Jacksons Track in Victoria as well as the town of Warragul, Lionel Edmund Rose experienced childhood in difficulty and learned to box from his father, Roy, who was a talented fighter at local house shows. Rose was of the Gunditjmara (Dhauwurd Wurrung) people.

Subsequent to missing selection for the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Lionel Rose started his professional boxing career at age 16, on 9 September 1964, outpointing Mario Magriss north of eight rounds.

After five successes in succession, on 23 July 1965, Lionel Rose was rematched with Singtong Por Tor, whom he had beaten in a 12-round choice. On 14 October of that same year, he had his first battle abroad, beating Laurie Ny by a decision in 10 rounds at Christchurch, New Zealand.

Over his next nine fights, Lionel Rose had a record of eight successes and one loss, with one knockout. Then, at that point, at age 18, on 28 October 1966, he met Noel Kunde at Melbourne for the Australian bantamweight title. He won the title by defeating Kunde in a 15-round decision.

Lionel Rose made history by becoming the first Aboriginal Australian to be a world champion boxer when he defeated Harada in a 15-round decision. This success made Rose an instant national hero in Australia and an icon among Aboriginal Australians.

Following a victorious 15-round decision triumph in Tokyo over Japanese champion Masahiko “Fighting” Harada, Lionel Rose made history in 1968 as the second Australian teen and first Indigenous Australian fighter to win a world title.

Lionel Rose immediately became prestigious for his lightning-fast reflexes and diligent counter-punches and got back from Japan to an expected 250,000 individuals in the roads of Melbourne celebrating his prosperity—the biggest welcome home to date in Australian sports.

Lionel Rose was additionally a skilled singer and guitar player, in any event, recording a chart-topping country album in the wake of meeting the “King of Rock and Roll” himself, Elvis Presley.

On 2 July of that year, he got back to Tokyo to hold his title with a 15-round decision success over Takao Sakurai.

In 1968, Lionel Rose turned into the main Aboriginal Australian of the Year and was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

In 1968, Lionel Rose became the first Indigenous Australian individual honored as Australian of the Year. He successfully defended his title in three consecutive matches until he surrendered the belt in 1969.

On 8 March 1969, Lionel Rose held the title with a 15-round decision over Alan Rudkin, however after five months he got back to Inglewood, where he confronted Rubén Olivares on 22 August. Rose lost the world bantamweight title to Olivares by means of a fifth-round knockout.

In 1975, Lionel Rose returned, however in the wake of losing four of his next six sessions, including one against Rafael Limón, Rose decided to retire for great. Rose accumulated a record of 42 successes and 11 losses as a professional boxer, with 12 successes by knockout.

Recognized as a liberal and humble leader, he retired in 1976 as a national hero and one of the best Australian competitors ever.

In 2007, Lionel Rose suffered a stroke that left him with speech and movement challenges.

Rose was highlighted in Australian writer: Wendy Lewis’ book of “Australia’s Greatest People” in 2010.

Lionel Rose was the 2003 inductee for the Australian National Boxing Hall of Fame “moderns” category and was the second person to be raised to “legend” status in 2010.

Lionel Rose died on 8 May 2011 after an ailment which lasted for several months.

On December 10, 2021, Google featured a Doodle on its home page for celebrating Lionel Rose. Google Doodle is represented by Sydney, Australia-based guest artist Mark Munk Ross.

As the first Indigenous Australian to win a world championship sports title, Lionel Rose was drafted into the Sport Australian Hall of Fame on this day in 1985.