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Lionel Rose, Aborigine boxing champion

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Lionel Rose, the first Australian Aborigine to win a world boxing title, has died. He was 62.

His family said he died Sunday after being ill for several months. He had a stroke in 2007 that left him partially paralyzed.

Rose beat Japan's Fighting Harada in Tokyo in 1968 to win the world bantamweight title during a career that included 42 wins, 12 by knockout, in 53 fights.

He was named Australian of the year after his world title victory, becoming the first Aborigine to receive the honor. He also was appointed a member of the Order of the British Empire.

Former triple world champion Jeff Fenech told Sydney's Daily Telegraph website that Rose "was not only a great fighter but a wonderful human being."

-- AP

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