VIS­IT­ING THE HALL OF FAME

Boxing News - - Yesterday’s Heroes - Simon Euan-smith

Chas Tay­lor, of Lon­don and Home Coun­ties EBAS, re­ports from Canas­tota EBA cor­re­spon­dent MANY read­ers will know, or know of, Chas Tay­lor, Lon­don EBA Wel­fare Of­fi­cer and Home Coun­ties EBA Trea­surer. Chas is the man be­hind the an­nual Box­ing Mem­o­ra­bilia Fayre. He also at­tends the In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Hall of Fame In­duc­tion Week­end in Canas­tota.

“The week­end was blessed with fan­tas­tic weather,” Chas said, “and ac­cord­ingly all the var­i­ous events went off per­fectly. Box­ing In­ductees Vi­tali Kl­itschko, Erik Mo­rales and Winky Wright re­sponded to the box­ing fans in a re­spect­ful fash­ion, sign­ing au­to­graphs and al­low­ing them photo op­por­tu­ni­ties. Other for­mer world cham­pi­ons present were also very oblig­ing.

“James Toney is an ex­cep­tion­ally nice man – noth­ing like the im­age he pre­sented when ac­tively fight­ing. He was hav­ing fun pho­tos taken ‘nose to nose’ and ‘eye­balling’ with the fans. Two for­mer ‘livewires’, Don King and Mike Tyson, were present, and both have be­come far more hum­ble as they’ve grown older.

“John H Stracey con­ducted the auc­tion at the Ban­quet, rais­ing over $25.000. Rep­re­sent­ing Lon­don EBA were my wife Kym­berly, my­self and box­ing pro­moter Mo Prior. Home Coun­ties EBA mem­bers present were Sean Tim­mins and Mike Lag­don.”

Thanks for that, Chas. Talk­ing of Home Coun­ties, fol­low­ing their June meet­ing I was de­lighted to hear from Mem­ber­ship Sec­re­tary Terry Clarke, as fol­lows: “Another suc­cess­ful meet­ing, with good num­bers present, which was sur­pris­ing, con­sid­er­ing it was Fa­ther’s Day. The raf­fle raised over £100. Fi­nal ar­range­ments were made for our BBQ on July 22 – al­ways a wellat­tended event, when many cur­rent and for­mer box­ers come along to meet their fans. No charge is made – we rely on the char­ity of our pa­trons on the day, putting con­tri­bu­tions for burg­ers in the bucket pro­vided and sup­port­ing the auc­tion and raf­fle. Ev­ery­one is wel­come, but please no­tify our sec­re­tary, Kieran Mccann, if you in­tend on com­ing.” Kieran can be con­tacted on 0771 815 0456 or kiers20@ hot­mail.com. As men­tioned be­fore, I know Le­ices­ter EBA are plan­ning to make it, and I hope others do too.

Fol­low­ing my men­tion of Bournemouth EBA last week, I can now re­veal that they have picked the win­ners of this year’s tro­phies, awarded to the best lo­cal Se­nior and Ju­nior am­a­teurs. Both win­ners be­long to Arena ABC.

The Se­nior tro­phy will go, once again, to Raven Chap­man, who is 24 and boxes at 57kgs. In Fe­bru­ary, she be­came the Bri­tish

Uni­ver­si­ties Col­leges Sports Cham­pion and rep­re­sented GB in Bul­garia. In April, she got to the semi-fi­nals of the Eng­land Box­ing Elite Cham­pi­onships. In June, she rep­re­sented Eng­land in the GB Elite Three Na­tions Cham­pi­onships, los­ing a split de­ci­sion to the Scot­tish rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

If that choice was straight­for­ward, pick­ing the Ju­nior win­ner was much harder, says Michael Hinton who, along with Pres­i­dent Dave Fry, vis­ited gyms and at­tended shows to form a proper ba­sis for mak­ing the de­ci­sions. They fi­nally de­cided on Baliegh Hibbs, aged 15, who cam­paigns at 44kgs. “This lad im­pressed us in the gym, spar­ring,” Michael said. “And in his last bout of the sea­son he won the ‘Boxer of the Show’ Award, de­spite box­ing with a dam­aged hand.”

Well done, Raven and Baliegh. The plan is for the tro­phies to be pre­sented at Bournemouth’s An­nual Re­u­nion, which is mooted for Satur­day July 28 at Chapel Gate, East Par­ley, Christchurch. Ev­ery­one is wel­come, and ad­mis­sion is free.

Es­sex are another EBA who take an ac­tive in­ter­est in the cur­rent scene. The ed­i­to­rial in the lat­est edi­tion of their news­let­ter, ‘Punch Lines’, has an in-depth anal­y­sis of the heavy­weight di­vi­sion in Bri­tain, and there’s also an item on un­beaten su­per-wel­ter­weight Ted Cheese­man, with some sug­ges­tions of pos­si­ble fu­ture op­po­nents.

But it’s not all about to­day – there’s a photo of Johnny Lewis of Black­fri­ars, who cam­paigned be­tween light­weight and wel­ter­weight from 1949 to 1953. He won 19 out of 28 bouts, and boxed at Manor Place Baths 17 times, win­ning 12. Johnny, who now lives in Wales, is 86. “But,” said Es­sex Sec­re­tary Ray­mond Lee, “he still has a great mem­ory of box­ers from the ‘40s and ‘50s. He phones me from time to time and re­calls many great sto­ries from the past. He is a bun­dle of knowl­edge.

Photo: MARK J. RE­BI­LAS/USA TO­DAY SPORTS

BIG PER­SON­AL­ITY: ‘Lights Out’ Toney re­mains a source of fas­ci­na­tion for box­ing fans all over the world

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