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Monday, December 21, 2015

Lucien Chen

de bene esse: literally, of well-being, morally acceptable but subject to future validation or exception

Integral to the development of Jamaica’s boxing history including the heavyweight title fight between George Foreman and Joe Frazier at the National Arena in Jamaica in1973.

The Jamaican Chen was well known in boxing circles all over the world. 

He brought some of the biggest names in boxing to Jamaica - Sugar Ray Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Jimmy Beecham, and Simon Brown, at his invitation. He worked with local boxing stars including Bunny Grant, Percy Hayles and Richard Clarke and well known world champions Michael McCallum and Trevor Berbick.

He was associated with Berbick in the negotiations for his world title fight with Mike Tyson, which earned Berbick his biggest pay-day of US$2-million. 

Although he was not the promoter for the Sunshine Showdown between George Foreman and Joe Frazier, he played an important role in getting the bout to take place in Jamaica 1973, and was part of the group that put the card together.

His ring savvy and knowledge of boxing enabled him to be the most successful promoter to have graced these shores, and he will go down in history as the man who introduced Dinner/Boxing to Jamaica. Frustrated that he would hold massive shows in the National Stadium, National Arena and at Sabina Park and lose money at the gate, he took boxing to the controlled area of a hotel ballroom.

He arranged an attractive televised boxing card preceded by cocktails and dinner for which all tickets were sold in advance. He garnered attractive sponsorship packages that ensured the event would make money. On many occasions, proceeds were donated to charities. On at least two occasions, he donated the proceeds of his shows to needy boxers.

His House of Chen Restaurant on Knutsford Boulevard was a showpiece, and was well patronised by sports people where he entertained many overseas boxers before and after their fights.

Horse Racing & Other Interests:
Boxing was not his only love, however, as he was an avid fan of horse racing and owned several horses. He was also a skilled bridge player and, at one time, was the head of Track Price Plus, a leading local book-making company. Chen also had a passion for horseracing in which he was an owner and breeder.

Before boxing, he was very successful in the insurance business, after which he moved into bookmaking when it became legal. He owned local bookmaking company Track Price Plus and this was an area in which he was very innovative. Chen was the former owner of Track Price Plus, the country’s largest bookmaking firm, along with Melvin Chin.




1. "In this 1968 file photograph Sugar Ray Robinson, a former world middle and welterweight boxing champion, is seen being greeted by Governor General, Sir Clifford Campbell (left) at King's House. Looking on are boxing promoters Lucien Chen (third from left) and Eddie Lai (second left)."

2. Actress Elizabeth Taylor

3. Mohammed Ali

4. George Foreman

5. His Son

6. The heavyweight title fight between George Foreman and Joe Frazier being held at the National Arena in Jamaica in 1973

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