10 May 2011

Rose to get state funeral

6:08 am on 10 May 2011

Australian boxing great Lionel Rose will be given a state funeral.

The family of the former world champion, who died aged 62 on Sunday, have accepted an offer from the Victorian government for the state funeral.

He made Australian sporting history in 1968 when he became the first Indigenous boxer to win a world championship, beating Japan's Fighting Harada in Tokyo at the age of 19 to claim the world bantamweight title.

When Rose returned to Australia after his victory in Japan he was greeted by more than 100,000 people outside the Melbourne Town Hall.

In 1968, Rose was named Australian of the Year for his achievement - the first Aboriginal person to be awarded the honour.

A spokesman for the government says Rose's family had opted for a state funeral to allow his fans to say a last goodbye.