Ex-Baltimore heavyweight Larry Middleton dead at 71

Former Baltimore heavyweight contender Larry Middleton died Thursday at age 71.

Middleton won 23 bouts, including 14 by knockout, lost 10 and drew 10 in a career that started in 1965 and ended in 1978.

Fighting out of Baltimore-based trainer Mack Lewis' gym, he won 19 straight bouts from 1966 to 1972, including a decision over eventual champion Joe Bugner in 1971.

Middleton also fought other prominent heavyweights, including Ron Lyle, Jimmy Ellis, Oscar Bonavena, Duane Bobick, Ken Norton and Jerry Quarry.

After retiring, Middleton campaigned against violence and drug activity in the Murphy Homes community in the late 1980s, and founded "The Middleton Program" and "Operation Champ" programs to keep youths off the streets.

The Middleton family will hold a public viewing Monday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Derrick Jones Funeral Home, 4611 Park Heights Ave., in Baltimore.

Services will be 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesday at Set the Captives Free Outreach Center, 7111 Windsor Mill Blvd. in Windsor Mill.

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