VISITING THE HALL OF FAME
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.
BIG PERSONALITY: ‘Lights Out’ Toney remains a source of fascination for boxing fans all over the world