Former heavyweight Jimmy 'Thunder' Peau has died

DB Cooper

RIP Jimmy Thunder
May 17, 2013
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Samoan-born, New Zealand boxer Jimmy 'Thunder' Peau has died, aged 54.

He passed away in his sleep at Auckland Hospital on Thursday morning.

Peau recently had brain surgery on a tumour.

As an amateur, he won a gold medal at the 1986 Edinburgh Commonwealth Games and turned professional, after missing selection for the 1988 Seoul Olympics, compiling a record of 35 wins and 14 losses over a career that ended in 2002.

His career highlights included two Australian heavyweight titles, and IBO and WBF heavyweight titles. Among his most notable scalps were Canadian Trevor Berbick, and Americans Tony Tubbs and Tim Witherspoon - all world heavyweight champions at different times for different organisations.

Peau was known for his devastating power, hence his nickname, and was involved in one of the shortest fights in boxing history, when he cunted out Crawford Grimsley 13 seconds into their 1997 bout.

But in his later years, Peau fell on hard times, living rough in Las Vegas, and spending time in a US prison for assault, battery and substantial bodily harm.

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/sport/2020/02/boxing-jimmy-the-thunder-peau-dies-aged-54-after-brain-surgery.html

Jimmy was one of my all-time favourite fighters and I am saddened to hear of his passing.

RIP Jimmy.
 

Johnstown

Dominant Poster
Jun 4, 2013
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I just came to see if anyone had made a thread.

If not I was going to make on.


I remember watching him as a kid on USA Tuesday Night Fights.

He was a showcase fighter as was Chris Byrd.

I remember that I knew enough at the time to know that Jimmy Thunder probably wasn't the greatest but I liked him a hell of a lot more than Byrd.

We (my dad and one brother) used to talk about what would happen if Byrd ever fought Thunder. We mostly figured Byrd would win and unfortunately we were right (eventually happened on HBO Boxing After Dark).

First 20 seconds has a comment that @Dua would appreciate.


Final comment.

I remember always thinking as a kid that Thunder should come out to the "Down Under"....
 
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DB Cooper

RIP Jimmy Thunder
May 17, 2013
19,738
7,915
Jimmy started his career training in Jack Rennie's backyard gym in Essendon, Victoria. Lionel Rose, Barry Michael, Paul Ferreri and many other champions over the years trained under Jack there.

Jimmy, a big strong heavyweight, when new to the gym was hitting the bags and Mrs Rennie came out of the house wondering what all the noise was. She famously said to Jack "when he hits the bags it sounds like Thunder" and thus Jimmy Peau became Jimmy Thunder, and the rest is history.
 

Hkbrit

You know you've made it when you have stalkers
Dec 6, 2019
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I'll always remember Thunder for that 5 second KO.

RIP to him, he made his mark
 

Tuff Gong

SUN's OOT GUNS OOT
May 22, 2013
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RIP.

Very sad, i remember hearing a few years ago he was living rough in Las Vegas.

Sad that some of these guys can go from the dizzying heights of success in their chosen field to rockbottom so quickly.
 
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DB Cooper

RIP Jimmy Thunder
May 17, 2013
19,738
7,915
Makes you feel old, doesn't it?


BTW, I always thought "Thunder" was his real last name !
I reckon he might have started his pro career in 1989 as Thunder. I know when I saw him fight in 1990 he was already called Thunder.

@VinoVeritas do you remember when you saw him at the Showgrounds in 1989 if he was already being referred to as Thunder? How good is your memory? It was only 30 years ago :smile
 
Nov 14, 2015
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I reckon he might have started his pro career in 1989 as Thunder. I know when I saw him fight in 1990 he was already called Thunder.

@VinoVeritas do you remember when you saw him at the Showgrounds in 1989 if he was already being referred to as Thunder? How good is your memory? It was only 30 years ago :smile
Yeah mate, he was being referred to as Thunder in all of those fights. Small crowds at the start but they picked up. We all thought he was gonna walk through Mike the bounty Hunter. Fuck did that shock the crowd at Festival Hall.
 
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DB Cooper

RIP Jimmy Thunder
May 17, 2013
19,738
7,915
Yeah mate, he was being referred to as Thunder in all of those fights. Small crowds at the start but they picked up. We all thought he was gonna walk through Mike the bounty Hunter. Fuck did that shock the crowd at Festival Hall.
I was there for the Hunter fight. It was fun while it lasted. But a shock result.

Scotty Brouwer fought Darren Miller that night too.
 

DB Cooper

RIP Jimmy Thunder
May 17, 2013
19,738
7,915
I remember hearing Hunter had died years ago but didn't hear, or had forgotten, the actual details. Saw them while trawling around today :

On February 8, 2006, Hunter was on the roof of the St. Moritz Hotel in Los Angeles, when he encountered two Los Angeles police officers, who had set up a buy/bust sting operation surveillance. The officers reported that Hunter, who was unprovoked, hit an officer on the head with a gun. The other officer tackled Hunter, with the previous officer eventually joining in the struggle. Hunter broke free, and pointed his gun at the officers, who promptly shot him twice, in the chest and the arm. Hunter was taken to Cedars-Sinai Hospital, where he died. The two officers involved stated that they did not feel that Hunter was aware that they were police officers.

Hunter was 46.
 
Jun 6, 2013
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I was there for the Hunter fight. It was fun while it lasted. But a shock result.

Scotty Brouwer fought Darren Miller that night too.

Man, I remember when I first saw Hunter fight. It might even have been the Thunder bout. I thought he was destined for greatness. He looked like Ali mixed with RJJ.

His career sure didn't pan out, though. Maybe he was too cocky in the ring for his own good. What talent, though.
 
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