A PAINTING of pioneering boxer Dick Turpin has been unveiled in Warwick.
The former British and Commonwealth Middleweight champion was the first ever black man to win a British title.
And after some determined fund-raising by the chairman of Cleary’s Amateur Boxing Club, Adrian Bush, a lasting memory has finally been completed.
Artist Paul Oz was chosen by Mr Bush to immortalise the local boxing champ earlier this year and auctions, raffles and a charity calendar have helped collect around £3,000 for the painting of the Warwick and Leamington boxing legend.
It was revealed for the first time in front of a host of special guests in Warwick.
Among them were well-known names from the boxing world including former champions Bunny Johnson and Franco Wanyama, commentator Bob Mee, and national journalist Colin Hart.
The painting of Dick, who died in 1990 at the age of 69, will now hang at the Old Court House in Jury Street, close to the statue of his younger brother Randolph, which was installed in Market Place after a campaign also by Mr Bush.
Trained by Dick, Randolph went on to become World Middleweight Champion after defeating Sugar Ray Robinson in 1951.
Speaking after he was commissioned to carry out the painting, Paul, who has previously painted Muhammad Ali, described it as “a huge honour.”
He added: “I hope to be able to bring life to a character who had a big impact on boxing in general, and in particular within Warwick and Leamington.”
Dick Turpin’s portrait painted by Paul Oz following a commission from Adrian Bush. (s)