Monday, April 29, 2013

Billy Townsend - Boxer

The Billy Townsend boxing story: by Brian Zelley

Billy Townsend was born in England
but called Nanaimo, BC, Candada home.
Billy would begin as an amateur and win
a number of titles before turning pro on
August 20, 1926.  His pro boxing 
journey would end years later in his
final bout against Sammy Luftspring.

*In the early years, he would fight
many bouts in the Pacific Northwest
with some of the opponents being
Ritchie Kink, Johnny Woods, 
Leo (Kid) Roy, Tommy Fielding,
Leslie (Wildcat) Carter,
Doc Snell and the great Todd Morgan.

* Along the way he would win the 
Canadian lightweight title with a 
victory over AL FOREMAN in 1929.
* Billy would then fight in numerous location such as Los Angeles, Toronto,
New York and Detroit, but would also appear on Vancouver Island with bouts
in Victoria, 70 miles from his old home base of Nanaimo. 

During these years, Billy would fight some world ranked boxers
and one time champions such as Benny Leonard and Tony Canzoneri.
He would also face that great "uncrowned champion" Billy Petrolle.
At the end of the journey, Townsend would have about 110 pro fights.

Billy Townsend - Boxer

William Townsend, BC Sports Hall of Fame:

* In the year 1966, Billy Townsend would be inducted into
the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame.  As of 2013,
Billy is only one of seven boxing folk that have been inducted.
British Columbia Amateur Boxing Association:
In the sixties and for many years, Billy Townsend
would be recognized at the annual golden gloves.
For instance, in 1967 in the centennial golden gloves
tournament, Billy was introduced before the 
featherweight final between Brian Zelley and Wayne Boyce.
BC would also have the annual "Billy Townsend Award".

Sunday, April 28, 2013

BOB CLEROUX and the Canadian heavyweights


                 * One of the three George Chuvalo vs Bob Cleroux bouts for the
                            Canadian Heavyweight Championship

Bob Cleroux, the forgotten champuon: * Bob Cleroux was one of the best Canadian heavyweights but is ofteb
forgotten by those discussing the great Canadian boxers.

During his pro journey, it should be remembered that he defeated 
boxing icon George Chuvalo in two out of three fights.  .  The above
link is a complete outline of Cleroux's journey by Paul McGrath on
the East Side boxing  site.

YVON DURELLE, champion

YVON DURELLE, the story

* the above link touches on the life
and times of a Canadian legend by
the name of Yvon Durelle aka
"The Fighting Fisherman" and his
great wife Theresa.  We are forever
pleased with the decision to have
a special site for two special Canadians.

The biography of Durelle:
* In 1981, New Brunswick author
Raymond Fraser wrote the book
called " The Fighting Fisherman "  and 
included a record of his professional bouts
between 1947 and 1963.  Included in that list
were some notable bouts including the world
light-heavyweight title fight with Archie Moore.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

FLOYD PATTERSON "Victory Over Myself"

FLOYD PATTERSO, a true champion: by Brian Zelley
*without a doubt, Ployd Patterson is a true hero of the ring
and in life itself  which was revealed in the black and white
pages of his book "Victory Over Myself".

The tell all book by Floyd Patterson

The bouts with Ingemar were three great fights that established
Floyd has the first heavyweight champion to regain the title.

During his post championship years
Floyd Patterson needed to earn
some victories to earn another 
shot at the title.
Two of those bouts were against Eddie Machen and George Chuvalo

Friday, April 26, 2013

Boxing Illustrated, january 1975

"BOXING ILLUSTRATED": review by Zelley

*When I look back at the magazine, I rember my contribtion
to the magazine in the "reader's rights" section on a page 
of which I spoke about Gene Tunney and also 
requested more on Jose Napoles.
And this is what the editor said:
"Brian, you are probably right about Gene Tunney...
Have no fear about feature stories on Jose Napoles
in future issues...he's a super welterweight 
champion and has the kind of charisma that 
just naturally makes great stories.

Hurricane Carter story: 

The most important story in that issue of BI was the one about Carter

The title of the story was:
"Hurrican Carter Once Had world In His Hand,
Fights To Touch It Again" - by Jack Welsh, editor-in-chief

Beyond Carter, there weresome other stories including one on Tony Licata
and Alvaro Lopez.  Fight results included Ben Villaflor's title victory,
Bobby Chacon vs Alfredo Marcano, then the Canadians
Donato Paduano vs Jean-Claude LeClair
and there were 15,200 fans watching that fight in Montreal.
For Pacific northwest fans they may not have seen it live but they 
were following the Marvin Hagler vs Sugar Ray Seales fight in Boston.
and back in New York a young Eddie Gregory and
 Eugene "Cyclone" Hart were in action.

A special feature was all about Sandy Saddler
the title of the Lew Eskin's story said it all
"Sandy Saddler A Street Fighter
In Ring Yet A mild Man On the Street"

Special section: "For The Cause of Women Boxers"
including Barbara Buttrick and joan Hagen.
Highlighted in the "Greatness file" was 
Harry Jeffra
(another great Italian-American fighter)
he fought the likes of Sixto Escobar,
Joey Archibald and Chalky Wright.

Special thanks to the crew at Boxing Illustrated and all the journalists
Jack Welsh, Lew Eskin, Ramon Gonzales, John Williams,
Art Taylor,  Eddie Coo. and many others.


"Boxing Illustrated",  December 1963 review: By Brian Zelley

* the cover story of this issue of
"Boxing Illustrated" was  the
Liston vs Patterson fight which
took longer to read than the fight
lasted.  At the time Charles Liston
was a top level fighter.  Floyd
was a great person.

* Beyond the main event, there
were some good articles in this
issue of the magazine and would 
include various fights:
Fights covered In "Rings Around The World:
Eddie Perkins vs D. Loi, Eder Jofre vs Joe Medel,
Brian Curvis vs Ralph Dupas, Willie Pastrano vs
Rudolfo Diaz, and Swift vs Leahy. 

* For active boxers, one of the interesting stories
was called "Big Night For the Ripper" 
The lead into the story about Garland "Rip" Randall
was: "Young Garland"Ripper" Randall scores a major
win and becomes a serious threat  for welterweight
champion Emile Griffith"

Other stories of interest:
* They still love Sugar in England
* John Gutenko - Alias Kid Williams
*  Archie Moore's Training Headquarters
* A case Against a Junior Middleweight Division  


BOXING ILLUSTRATED: by brian zelley

December 1966 Review:

This issue of BI was packed
with a cross section of 
current news and flashbacks.

Some of the flashbacks were
stories on:
Primo Carnera, Billy Soose, and 
 Eddie "Cannonball" Martin. 

Some of the 1966 fights covered:
* Floyd Patterson vs Henry Cooper
* Joe Frazier vs Oscar Bonavena
* Howard Winstone vs Jan DeKeers
* Jimmy Ellis vs Billy Daniels
* Johnny Brooks vs Ernie Lopez
* Armando Ramos vs V. Salazar
* Joe Clark vs Ralph Dupas

Other articles covered such boxers
as Pete DeRuzza, Joe DeNucci and much more including a column by
former middleweight champion Terry Downes and "Trade Talk".
Terry mentioned British boxer Mark Rowe, Alan Rudkin, Frankie Taylor
and others.   

Monday, April 15, 2013

Brandon Brewer : Boxer

Brandon Brewer : Boxer


By Brian Zelley

(photo credit for Brandon:
- original photo: Tanya Everett)

* As we review the story of 
Canadian professional boxers in 
the years of 2013, one that has
 promise in New Brunswick
middleweight boxer Brandon Brewer. 

The pro boxing story id Brandon begins
 in 2010.  And, by March 2013 he has earned
six victories and one draw.  Of those six wins, 
three are by KO and three by a unanimous decision.  

Brewer's road ahead:

For any boxer, the future results are a big unknown, and part of
the process is to prepare and improve in the gym to expand
the skills level with variety and depth.  One of Brandon's
recent training strategies as been to  spar with Canadian
National amateur boxing champion Brody Blair which in
with a spirit of co-operation will be beneficial to both.

But, beyond the gym work, Brandon wants to be an active
fighter and is expecting a monthly bout between
May and July 2013.  Assisting him is trainer Aubrey McLeod.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The History of Amateur Boxing in British Columbia



By Brian Zelley
For amateur boxing in British Columbia 
an important new start was the beginning
 of the annual Golden Goves tournament 
in 1939.  Another major development was 
in 1969 following the formation of the 
canadian Amateur Boxing Association 
of which the British Columbia Amateur
Boxing Association (BCABA) which now goes
by the name of Boxing BC  with Mickey Sims
the president in 2013

The BC Golden Gloves Story from the beginning:

*  Over a two year period, the British Columbia Amateur Boxing
Association had been building the sport of amateur boxing one
club and one show at a time, but then they looked south east
and thought about Chicago and New York and a tournament
caled the Golden Gloves which had the backing of newspapers.
So the executive of the BC association decided to explore the idea.
A committee was formed and in short order Vancouver's "The Sun
and the lead figure from the sone to be involved would be Bill Finlay.

Also, the Vancouver Active club,, involved with helping disabled
children would get involved  and benefit by the fundraising aspect
of the tournament.  

Also, it would not take long for the boxing folks in Seattle to get
involved in tournaments, so in those early years that was hampered
in part by WWII, British Columbia boxers including some of the
military boxers would participate in the Seattle Golden Gloves.

As we step backk to the first few years, the first six Golden Boys
would be Phil Vickery, Terry Doyle, Bob Hickie, 
Jackie Hamilton, Harru Smith and Chester Orr.

Post WW II "Vancouver Sun Golden Gloves" tournament:

The year was 1946, which would be an important continuation
of the tournament with some old faces and new ones, and some
of the returning boxers that had been involved in military service.

The builders of boxing and the community for 1946:

There would be a solid team to assist in the staging of 
the 1946 tournament including some that supported by
their advertising and donations.  

The actual sanction would be from the BC branch of the
AAU of Canada, and the British Columbia Amateur Boxing
Association and the continued sponsorship to the
"Vancouver Sun".  Some of the names would be
D. B. Shirley, Harry J. Porter, Charles Jones, E J Temoin,
A H Jefferd, Hamilton Reed, Ralph McKenzie, A Hodgkisson,
Charles Sandford.  And, the committee would be comprised
of: W. J. Finlay, C. W. Goodrich, A. Holdgkisson,
C. Sandford, 

Some of the others involved from organizing to judging
would be: Bud Devoe, Tom Flanagan, Carl Hanuzak, 
J. A. Gunn, Andy Davidson, Bill Garner, Joe McMillan, 
Hector McDonald, Tommy Moore, P. Lanaway,  E. Swartz,
Wallace Kelk, Billy Oates, Blackie Bengert, Tom Burke,
Tom Harnett, Bill Doyle, Bill Baker, George McLaughlin,
Tommy Cruise (announcer), Bert Murray, Walter Brown,
Dr. Gordon Matthews, Dr. Sturdy, Dr. McCatchie  and
Dr. Merkle.  

Other sponsors and supporters:
Jamieson Bros., Mandarin Supper Club, Bill Smith,
John Watson, Eddie Deem, F. M. Crowther, Abe Weston,
Sid Beech, Milton of the Empire Cafe, Tommy Gann,
Cy and Reg Paxton, Otto Jansen, and Arnold Bertram,
(Bertram was the boxing manager of Kenny Lindsay),

Those early clubs:

They travelled from Ocean Falls and Vancouver Island
and other locations.  Clubs that took part in the Gloves
Alberni, Ambassador, Bluebirds,  Cumberland, CYO,
Eagletime, Junior G., Kimount, M D 11, Ocean Falls, 
Pro Rec., Victoria, Wallaces, Western Sports Centre,
and Victoria.  

The Boxers: (list of entries)

* Ray Walters, Guy Morisset, Larry Creanza, Wes Burnell,
Vic Murdoch, Vern Vockhott, Maurice Pratt, Jim Boles, 
Don Harrison and Norm Delaire.

* Stan Almond, Bob Scott, Pte. A. J. Arnold, Fraser Clarke,

* Jim Andrews, Frank Almond, Orest Kozak, Art Burgess,
G. A. Brabank, Ken McPhee, Earl Cook.

* Gunner O. Brown, Chuck Cruickshank, Jack Macdonald,
Lyle Kehoe, Terry Doyle, Hal Robbins, Bert Lepitre, 
Jack Hamilton,Jack Crook.

* William Miller jr., Russ Gurniak, Corp. Roger Dion, 
Duquette Henri, Chester Norton, Billy MacDonald,
Dick Cote, Bus Lindsay, Ray Hass.

* Reg Simpson, J R Herbert, Art Beaumont, Buddy Welsh,
Rod MacDonald, Jack Allen, Jimmy Crook.

* Lyle Colling, Stan Zokol, E. P. Clark, Jack Herwynen, 
Everett Biggs, Jerris Jamel, 

* Eric Smith, Tony Stranan and Phil Olsen.

On the Friday of the tournament there was a feature bout
that paired: Gordon Woodhouse vs Norman Dawson.  

The Golden years of Amateur Boxing 1939 to 1969:

*the link will take us to the February 2012 story about amateur boxing
in British Columbia from 1939 to 1968 with the early reference of some of 
the names in the forties.
Art Burgess
Art Beaumont
Bert Lepitre
Buddy Welsh
Bus Lindsy
Chester Orr
Jackie Turner
Ken McPhee
Lyle Kehoe
Sammy May
Terry Doyle,
Wes Burnell
Jim Langston

But, it would also cover some of the golden gloves moments in British Columbia 
and elsewhere such as Seattle, Portland and Tacoma

 1959 BC Golden Boy: Jack Straza
Names above: early Seattle Golden Gloves:
Gordon Grayson, Robert Hickey, Tommy symes
Jackie Turner, Norm Dawson, Bobby Parker,
Joe Ashenbrenner, Roy Burnell, Bert Lepitre,
Freddy Steele, Vic Murdoch, Lyle Kehoe.
Vic Murdoch in 1984 after 40 years
from his Seattle Golden Gloves victory
in 2013, Murdoch was inducted into the
British Columbia Amateur Boxing Hall of Fame

THE NEW ROAD TO TRAVEL: 1969 to 1984

* The above link,  Road to Glory takes us with the first years
of BC's becoming a provincial part of Boxing Canada that
began through the efforts of Jerry Shears and others.
It takes us from those early years leading up to the
1984 Olympic Games and the Canadian Olympic Boxing
team training in Boxing BC's training centre in Burnaby.

There is a cross section of stories, photos and data
such as the 1969 Golden Boy, Neil Knight of Seattle.
Photos of Dale and Lennie Walters, and much more
such as a recap of the 1983 Silver Gloves with some of 
the names.  It also takes us to 1972 with two BC boxer
on the 1972 Canadian Olympic boxing team. 

Golden Gloves and Diamond Belt tournaments
* Some of the tournaments are covered in detail

*  In the earlier posts, there is coverage of the
1985 BC Diamond Belt tournament held in Victoria.
And, a boxer that I trained got the headlines in the
Times - Colonist on January 21, 1985 as follows:
" Ogden in Ring Shocker at Diamond Belt"
The story was about the performance of 
Victoria Jaycees Boxing Club's Ron Ogden.
Also, a number of folks were singled out for special
recognition such as former Canadian champion Jack Snaith.



Throughout the ages there have
been many ring officials and those
appointed to boards of directors.
In the mid-eighties, a list was made
of many of the ring officials that had
been or were still involved in some
form of officiating for the 
BC Amateur Boxing Association.
No attempt was made  to rate them
or to rank them into classifications
as they all played a roll for the success
of the sport.

Some of the many have been listed 
in the following block which is just
one part of a blog related to 

officials and coaches.

The above links show a long list of names of folks that have been
and some are still involved.  Some of the names may not be well
known, as often the ring officials often did not get much press
coverage except the referees at times may have their photo 
in a newspaper piece holding up the arm of a boxer in the 
middle of the ring:
Some of the names that may not be well known by many today 
Steve Barnes, Bernie Brisch, Terry Eastman, Dick Huber,
Pickey Lee, Len Lightfoot, Scotty McQueen, Jack O'Hanley,
Joe Preston, Len Robertson, Abe Seriani, Joe Swift and Earl Vance.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


OFFICIAL BOXING CLUBS of BC: by brian zelley

Recently received a request for a list of boxing clubs registered with
Boxing BC, considered the provincial association of Boxing Canada.

The following are the club names, the town and the listed
contact person that may or may not include the head coach.

History of the Clubs:
*  The amateur boxing clubs of British Columbia are comprised of some with a short 
history, some with a long history and some that have been past clubs that have made
a return to activity.  For instance, the Cranbrook Eagles Boxing Club and the 
Nanaimo Boxing club are two with extended histories, and the Genesis club 
in Parksville started several years ago but have performed well in the few years
that it has been active.

Many of the clubs have coaches with extended backgrounds such as Bob Pegues
of the Inner City Club was a boxer that belonged to the Nanaimo Boxing Club
in the early Seventies when it first started in 1971 which is now coached for a
number of years by Barry Creswell who was a club mate of Bob.  Scotty Jacson
is remembered for his boxing days from decades ago, and Graham McIntosh
of the Thistletown Boxing Club in Kelowna is a former Canadian champion.
Each club, the boxers and coaches have a story that is ongoing such as 
current Canadian champion Kenny Lally of the Inner City Club of Prince George.