Billy Costello, ex-WBC champ, dies of cancer at 55

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KINGSTON, N.Y. (AP) -- Former World Boxing Council light welterweight champion Billy Costello, winner of his first 30 professional fights, has died of lung cancer. He was 55.

Longtime friend Joe LaLima says Costello died Wednesday at a hospital in Kingston, Costello's hometown.

Costello was 40-2 over a 20-year career that began in 1979. He won the WBC light welterweight championship in 1984 with a 10th-round technical knockout of Bruce Curry, then defended the title three times over the next year.

Costello lost the title to "Lightning" Lonnie Smith in an eighth-round technical knockout in 1985. His only other loss as a pro came to Alexis Arguello in 1986.

After retiring from fighting, he had worked in construction and with young people in his hometown.

There was no immediate information on funeral arrangements.