Boxer Hogan “Kid” Bassey MBE MON was the first person of Nigerian descent to win a world championship. He was born in Britain on 3 June 1932 and died on 26 January 1998.

He was born Okon Asuquo Bassey in Creek Town, Calabar, Nigeria, on the banks of the Cross River. After moving to the UK, where he lived the majority of his life, he became a naturalized British citizen. When he became a professional boxer, he adopted the name Kid Bassey. George Biddles and Jimmy August oversaw his management and provided him training.


Bassey left Nigeria after 14 battles and traveled to Liverpool, England, where he arrived three days before Christmas 1951.

He won the world featherweight title in 1957 by defeating French Algerian Cherif Hamia in Paris after capturing the Empire featherweight title. On March 18, 1959, US fighter Davey Moore defeated him for the championship. Billy “Spider” Kelly, Percy Lewis, Tommy Profitt, Sammy McCarthy, Ricardo Moreno, and Willie Pep are further rivals.


In the 1958 New Year Honours, he was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) “for services to sport in the Eastern Region, Nigeria”. Bassey went on to become a coach in Nigeria, which awarded him the country’s highest honour, the Order of the Niger, in 1973.

At his house in Apapa, Lagos, he passed away on January 26, 1998.


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