Nottingham's '1 Smooth' bantamweight legend, Nicky Booth (17-5-1, 7KOs), has sadly passed away at the young age of just 40 on January 13, 2021, just eight days before his 41st birthday.
Born January 21, 1980, the talented fighter struggled with drug addiction throughout his adult life and was jailed for two years for burglary offences after his boxing career ended in 2003.
Booth competed between 1998-2003 and won British and Commonwealth bantamweight titles, and is regarded as one of Britain's best ever bantamweights. He was the younger brother of Jason Booth, who also held British and Commonwealth titles during his career. The brothers attended Radford Boxing Club growing up as youngsters together. They also have a sister named Darcey.
In 2017, aged 37, Nicky was back in court for punching a supermarket security guard after being caught shoplifting, admittedly using crime as a way to feed his cocaine addiction. The court heard how he was caught with four tins of coffee worth £16.72. He was ordered to pay £100 to the security guard and £15.66 to Waitrose for the three tins of coffee he had stolen earlier that same day before reentering. He was also ordered to complete a six-month rehabilitation course.
His defence solicitor, Chris Saunders, said at the time, "He comes across as a frail character nowadays. You can see he has trouble getting his words out correctly. He has been in and out of trouble for 10 years and the problem is Class A drugs. When I spoke to him, he said, 'I need help'. At the moment, he has various illnesses. His immune system is currently attacking his antibodies."
Many will remember Nicky fondly for his emphatic victory over Ady Lewis at the Harvey Hadden Sports Centre in 2001 when he defended his British belt successfully with a sharp left hook to the body in the seventh round.
Nicky leaves behind a daughter, Paris, who is now grown up in her 20's.
Commonwealth featherweight champion Leigh Wood, also from Nottingham, posted the following message on Twitter in tribute to his hero: Sad news coming in of the passing of a Nottingham Legend Nicky Booth who inspired many young lads including myself. Sending my love to all his friends and family #1smooth
Former European champion turned pundit Spencer Oliver said: Just heard the sad news that former British and Commonwealth Champion Nicky Booth has passed away, Nicky was a great little Boxer, RIP Champ
Boxing News Magazine paid homage with: What a tremendous fighter Nicky Booth was. A former British and Commonwealth bantamweight champion who always gave his all inside the ring. We’re deeply saddened to hear of his passing at the age of 40. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. Rest easy, Champ.
Trainer Dave Coldwell said: Just heard former British & Commonwealth Champion Nicky Booth has died. A great character of the game & always in exciting fights. The Booth brothers gave Nottingham some great fight nights. Thoughts with Jason and the rest of the family.
Former world champion Barry Jones commented: After hearing the sad news of the passing of Nicky Booth. It made me think about how hard it is once you retire. So if any ex fighters are still struggling to come to terms with life without boxing, please DM me, I’ve been there or near that dark place also. A chat can only help.
British and European champ Ryan Rhodes said: RIP Nicky Booth. Both of these two brothers could have a fight, hope Jason is doing ok.
Boxing journalist Ron Lewis reflected: The fight I really remember Nicky Booth for was his great scrap with Ady Lewis, when he stopped him with a body shot. He was seriously talented, but had problems outside the ring that ended his career sadly early.
Sports Presenter for BBC Radio Nottingham Robin Chipperfield added: This is very sad. Had some great nights at the Harvey Hadden covering his fights - always entertaining. RIP Nicky Booth.
Robert Smith of the BBBofC submitted this statement: The Stewards and staff of the British Boxing Board of Control are very saddened to hear of the passing of Former British and Commonwealth Bantamweight Champion Nicky Booth. Our sincerest condolences are sent to his family at this time.
BBN would also like to extend their sincere condolences to the entire Booth family at this difficult time.