Legend of the sport – tributes paid to ‘great man’ Willie Limond following death

Tributes have been paid to former British and Commonwealth champion Willie Limond following his death at the age of 45.

Limond was found in an unresponsive state in a car in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, on April 6, amid preparations for a fight, and died in hospital on Monday.

Former world champion Anthony Crolla, a one-time opponent of Limond, described the popular Scot as “one of the best men I ever met”.

A statement from Limond’s boxing club read: “Everyone at St Andrew’s Sporting Club are shocked and deeply saddened at the loss of our friend, Willie Limond.

“Willie was not only a legend of the sport, but an infectious character who will be greatly missed by us all. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jake, Drew, Macy and the rest of the Limond family at this time.”

Limond last fought in September last year when he was stopped by Ricky Burns in the former world champion’s farewell bout.

He was due to take on Joe Laws at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena on May 3 in a show organised by the St Andrew’s club with his son, unbeaten 20-year-old professional Jake Limond, on the undercard. Laws wrote on social media that he was “absolutely devastated” by the news.

The Glaswegian father-of-three’s other son, Drew Limond, is an amateur boxer who has fought for Scotland.

Boxing – Commonwealth Lightweight Title – O2 Arena
Willie Limond put Amir Khan on the canvas (Nick Potts/PA)

He lost his first British title fight at super-featherweight level to fellow Scot Alex Arthur in 2003 before going on to win an EBU European Union belt and then the Commonwealth title at lightweight against Joshua Allotey.

He defended the belt against Amir Khan in 2007, putting his unbeaten opponent on the canvas in the sixth round, and being denied what he felt was a knockout by a significant delay before the eight-second count. Limond was forced to retire in the fight by a broken jaw before the start of the ninth round.

He won a WBU title and in 2010 fought four-weight world champion Erik Morales in a title fight in Mexico, going down three times in the sixth round.

Boxing – Braehead Arena
Curtis Woodhouse, left, was beaten by Limond in 2014 (PA)

Defeat to Tyrone Nurse in his only defence two years later spelled the end of Limond’s title fights.

Limond’s former opponents were among the first to pay tribute.

Crolla posted a ‘heartbroken’ emoji on X along with a recent photo of himself and Limond and wrote: “Not just in boxing but in life as well. One of the best men I ever met.”

Woodhouse wrote on the social media platform: “Absolutely devastated to hear the news of the passing of Willie Limond, a great fighter and a great man.

“We stayed in touch after our fight and always had a laugh together. Absolutely gutted. Rest In Peace champ.”

Former world champion Scott Harrison wrote: “Sad news to hear that my old pal and Scottish Boxing Legend Willie Limond has passed away thoughts and prayers are with his Family God Bless RIP Willie.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Around 8.05am on Saturday, 6 April, 2024, police were called to a report of a 45-year-old man found unresponsive within a car in Heatherbell Road, Coatbridge.

“The man was taken to Monklands Hospital where he died on Monday, 15 April, 2024.

“There are no suspicious circumstances and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.”

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