Did You Know.....?
Freddie Mills defeated Len Harvey for the British & Commonwealth Light Heavyweight Championship.
Both were serving in the RAF at the time.
Did the return match give a new meaning to "Forces Reunited?
When i was on my fitter's course at RAF Weeton, ( Blackpool) in 1964, we were in the gym getting the usual beasting from the PTI's when one of them shouted to a chap who was knocking lumps out of a punch bag to come over and show us erks how it was done. It was Brian London. His Dad, Jack London beat Freddie Mills in 1944 to win the British Title. Brian himself had some good wins but when faced by the top heavyweights, fell short of the mark. He suffered at the hands of Muhammed Ali, Floyd Patterson and our own Henry Cooper. By todays standards, i think that he would be quite a small heavyweight as he was only 6ft tall and weighed about 14 stone 9 lbs. Having said that, he looked menacing next to us lot.
Sadly some years later he committed suicide
I can remember late one night, my Dad and some of his mates glued to the radio for a Joe Louis fight, when there was a knock at the front door.
It was a policeman, who asked if he could come in and listen.
I can remember sitting with my Dad sometime in the 1930s listening to the fight between Benny Lynch and Jackie Paterson for the World flyweight championship. The commentator kept referring to Paterson's southpaw style baffling Lynch and I pestered my Dad what was it about until he said 'Just shut up until it's over and I'll tell you,' After the fight which Paterson won he explained the stance and said southpaws were a bloody nuisance to fight because they were so awkward. I found that I could fight as well left handed as right handed not knowing at the time that I was ambidextrous - playground scraps and street fights were common on the council estate where we lived. It did baffle a lot and I found I could beat a lot of lads who otherwise would have beaten me because of their size. So, when I took it up later in my early teens I used to switch from one to the other to the despair of anyone who was acting as coach or second. I never bothered about their words - they were not in the ring - and if it made it better for me then that was good enough for me.
You can probably guess boxing is a subject I've followed ever since I was a kid.
I HAD SEEN THE BOYS FIGHTING IN THE FAIR GROUND BOXING BOOTHS BEFORE THEY BECAME FAMOUSE,
Dunne was furious and demanded a immediate fight,
Instead of making this bout a non titles fight he put his European, his Commonwealth and his British titles on the line. Joe Bugner knocked him out in the first round. So the Belts medals, Trophy's etc. he could have displayed in any public place around his home town were gone. It left Bugner with all this he had retired from and really could have done without.
To Joe's credit he is the only Boxer in History to ever go the full distance with with Joe Frazier and Mohammed Ali but also fought Jimmy Ellis , Brian London, Charlie Shavers etc. Yes he was a defensive fighter and maybe lacked the killer instinct but he fought and beat some Boxer from down Trinidad way who died shortly after and there were People who said he was never the same again.
A small aside about Joe Bugner. I used to work in the Huntingdon St Ives area .Joe Bugner had a huge house close to RAF Wyton. Another couple of celebs from the area,Oliver Cromwell was born in Huntingdon and of course a certain John Major was the incumbent MP. I didnt know any of them personally.
Rocky's only connection with having a fight in Wales was when during W.W. 2. he was a G.I. and in the Adephi Bar in Swansea and a Huge Australian Soldier tried to pick a fight with him as he only holding a glass of Milk. Rocky knocked him out with a single punch.
Don Cockell was a blown up light-heavy who had fought Randolph Turpin when he moved up to that weight but he had an awful lot of trouble with his weight. He just went heavier and heavier and when he met old Rocky he had lost a lot of weight in a short time so was a bit weakened I suppose. He was a good boxer but lacked the punch for that category. When I heard Marciano talk after the fight he praised Don but I was amazed at his voice. He sounded almost like a choir girl - very weak and high pitched - quite at odds with his ring persona. Rocky was noted for a punch he called his 'Suzie Q' which usually ended fights. When I watched I knew why - it was a very short right hook to the jaw but he followed through with his elbow and got away with it in the States where they are not so particular.
Charnley went fifteen rounds a couple of times so he must have been durable. Dai Dower was a lovely boxer but couldn't punch his way out of a paper bag!
PS. Wasn't Charnley a blacksmith?
One Name that has come to mind and that is Billy Walker affectionately Nick Named the Blond Bomber
I believe He turned Pro about 1961 to 1967 when He lost to Henry Cooper
There was one Boxer who was taking a terrific beating, as he staggered to his corner and asked his Trainer " How am I doing" His Trainer replied "Let him hit you with his Left hand for a while, your face is getting crooked "
Anyone wishing to see this fight can do so on Youtube plus there are a whole lot of other live fights as well, all free.
The answer to " The only American Fighter who nearly always fought above his weight and Never lost a fight all of which were in the U.S.A. was "Popeye" who always beat "Bluto "
I apologise for not providing the answer sooner but I did send Rear Admiral John Richards R.N. an E.mail requesting he post a picture of Popeye on but guess he did not see it.
As i am not an expert on Boxing i do not have a clue concerning the last question,
As i mentioned before there are some great Boxing Films / Clips on Youtube. which i guess most of us have never seen.
I watched one today where Freddie Mills fought Gus Lesnevich in London, a real battle. there are lots like them
The Only Boxer to win a World Title ( due to and probably to nerves he crapped a little on leaving the Arena )
embarrassingly this was caught by a T. V. Company.
As a further clue this took place in the early 1960s.