Veteran fight enthusiast Mervyn Gee was vocal in his distain for Mayweather vs McGregor. Here he remembers a circus match he attended all the way back in 1978: the rubber match between Lenny “The Guvnor” Maclean and Roy “Pretty Boy” Shaw.
In the years before Frank Warren’s unlicenced fights were made legal (although still not recognised by the BBB of C) these kind of fights went on all over London. Those attending were there mainly by invitation.
Lenny McLean and Roy Shaw were the leading lights in these type of fights. They fought three times, the score was one each when they met for the decider in September 1978 at the Rainbow Theatre in Finsbury Park, North London.
The place was packed and one thing I noticed was how very small the ring seemed. The “fight” – such as it was – was an anti-climax; a street fight with gloves on. As I remember it Shaw was aggressive to begin with but then McLean charged over and hit Shaw with a series of wild swings and after about two minutes connected and knocked Shaw down, and soon after, out. MacLean had won the series two-one.
All I can really say about “the fight” was I’m glad that I did not pay to get in..
A little bit about the contestants: both were associates of the Krays. Lenny was joint owner of a pub called “The Guvnor” in the East End with Charlie Kray. By 1994 he had spent 18 years in 22 different prisons.
MacLean died in 1998, and among the mourners at his funeral were Vinnie Jones and Tony Lambrianou, who was involved with the Krays in the murder of Jack “the Hat”
Mcvitie, and served fifteen years for his part.
Roy Shaw was also a Kray associate; in 1963 he was sentenced to eighteen years for armed robbery, with part of his sentence served at the Broadway Hospital for the criminally insane.
Both of these men lived their lives by violence and intimidation, although both had moved away in their later lives from their criminal activities. Among mourners at Shaws funeral was Joey Pyle, Freddie Foreman and Dave Courtney.
I was invited to the fight by a couple of North London “heavies” to attend. Both of the above are still alive, so for the purposes of this article, let’s just say I can’t recall their names..