Born: November 1, 1934;

Died: March 28, 2016

NICHOLAS ''Nicky'' Gargano, who has died of cancer aged 81, was an outstanding amateur boxer who won three consecutive British Amateur Boxing Association welterweight titles. The BBC tv boxing pundit Harry Carpenter once said of him: ''Gargano? Such skill, such timing, such defence.''

A Londoner who worked during his boxing career in London's Camden fruit market, Gargano boxed at welterweight for the Eton Manor Boys club and although never a big, destructive puncher, his slick, accomplished power electrified spectators in the same way that his contemporary north of the border, Dick McTaggart, did for Scottish boxing fans.

He won his three consecutive British A.B.A. welterweight titles in 1954, 55 and 56 and remains the only English welterweight boxer to have notched up a trio of 10-7lbs crowns consecutively. Overall, Gargaro had an amateur record of 190 wins in 197 bouts and reversed five of his seven losses in return contests.

The years 1954 to 57 were particularly successful for him - witness his gold at the 1954 Vancouver Empire (now Commonwealth) games. This was followed by a stellar performance in Berlin in 1955 when he won the European title and the prestigious Best Stylist of theTournament award after uniformly dazzling displays of cultured boxing.

Not content with that, in the same year, Gargano was outstanding in London when he comprehensively outboxed American opponent, Walter Sabbath of Detroit in a Great Britain v USA international.

Little wonder then that in 1956 when Gargano went to the Melbourne Olympic games the main talk by the English media was not of his fellow Londoner, flyweight Terry Spinks or lightweight Dick McTaggart but Gargano, who was seen as Britain's most likely boxer to grab gold.

Indeed, the boxing press predicted that Gargano was in pole position to emulate his fellow Eton Manor club predecessor Harry Mallin who had won middleweight gold at the 1924 Paris Olympics.

But it was not to be. Despite brilliantly out-boxing and outpointing Russian Eduard Borysov and Argentinian Francisco Gelabet, Gargano was robbed by the delinquent judging at ringside in his bout with Romanian Nicolae Linca and had to settle for bronze rather than the widely tipped gold medal.

Proof positive that the poor decision in Melbourne disillusioned Gargano came one month later when he announced his retirement in January 1957, aged just 22.

Gargano was much admired by Scotland's only Olympic boxing gold medal winner, Dick McTaggart, who boxed in the same British team as Gargano at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic games.

''Nicky was a great guy and he and I were very similar in how we fought," said McTaggart. "Nicky was - like me - a southpaw and like me he frustrated opponents by being elusive while counter-punching them - his style was also much admired by the fans... like me too, Nicky never, ever, turned professional."

Unlike many former amateur boxing stars, Gargano never returned to the sport as a coach or official but concentrated instead on running pubs in southern England, although after the tragic death of his daughter in the 1980s he cut back on his commitments in a licensed trade. Later, when his wife suffered a stroke, Gargano devoted his life to caring for her full time until she died on what would have been the couple's 60th wedding anniversary in 2014.

Gargano is survived by a brother and sister and his son Darren.