THE AUSTRALIAN boxing community is in mourning after the passing of Kempsey born boxer Hector Thompson in Brisbane on Wednesday morning.
Thompson was born in Kempsey on June 28, 1949, and was a member of Kinchela Boys' Home before his Aunty Irene relocated him to Armidale around the age of 13.
He then moved to Newcastle to develop his boxing career before finally residing in Brisbane in 1972.
"He was a proud Kempsey man and an extremely talented sportsman," Hector's nephew, Harold Thompson, said.
Hector's brother, Uncle Greg Thompson, said his time in the home was where the passion for boxing started.
"They all used to box in the boys' home and participate in schoolboys tournaments. They'd spar with each other in the recreation room and a lot of the older boys would take it easy on him because he was younger and smaller," he said.
"There were some good athletes in there and all the boys loved Hec."
Uncle Greg also explained that it wasn't just boxing that Hector excelled at.
"Him and Lyall Munro Jnr went to school together in Armidale, and Lyall said he was an unbelievable lock forward," he said.
"I'm a bit jealous of Hector because he represented schoolboys rugby union and played on the SCG."
Fighting in a total of 87 bouts, Thompson won 73 with 27 of those being KO wins, he had 12 losses and 2 draws.
Competing in four weight divisions throughout his career - lightweight, super lightweight, welterweight and super welterweight - Thompson held Commonwealth and national titles.
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Turning pro at 19 years of age, his fights spanned the 1970s and '80s.
He was inducted into the Australian Boxing Hall of Fame in 2005 and famously fought for two world titles. Both of these were held in Panama, with one against Roberto Duran and the other, Antonio Cervantes, of Venezuela.
Thompson unfortunately lost both, however he put Duran into hospital with damaged ribs and lasted eight rounds against Cervantes until it was stopped due to a cut eye.
Numerous tributes have come through from Australian boxing identities like Johnny Lewis and Phil Cooke, describing Hector as one of the Australia's greatest fighters.