Wednesday, November 25, 2009
DIAMOND BELT TOURNAMENTS, GOLDEN GLOVES and BC OLYMPIC TRIALS
One of the outstanding tournaments of the Sixties was the 1967 BC Diamond Belt Tournament that featured
ROCKY MARCIANO as a guest referee. When the last bell rang and it was time to select the Diamond Boy,
the pick was Vancouver's DAVE WYLIE of the Firefighters Boxing Club coached by Bert Lowes and Pat West,
Some of the others entered in the tournament were Frankie Scott, Wayne Boyce, Brian Zelley, Fred Fuller.
Billy Taylor, Dick Findlay, Chester Douglas, Ed Williams and many more.
The 1968 tournament was also used as the BC Olympic boxing trials and featured many of the boxers from
1967 and some former junior boxers. Some names to remember were John Carr, Dave Allardice, Ron McEachern,
Wayne Boyce, Brian Zelley, Rick Fleck, Darryl Olsen, Freddy Fuller and Robbie Grant.
Stepping back to 1951 some names to remember - Billy Pinkus, Len Walters and the McMurtry brothers from Seattle.
After 1968, the Diamond Belt tournament remained silent, until the bright lights were turned on in Victoria in 1980.
When the final bell rang, the Diamond Boy was Victoria's GARY (Tiger) ROBINSON.
Some tournaments may not be high on the tournament list, but for the boxers such tournaments as the SILVER GLOVES
are important, and for some a step towards bigger tournaments, and for all additional experience. For boxers of the
Victoria Athletic Association, the 1978 Silver Gloves was one of those tournaments for two Victoria boxers 0
Henry Heggelund and Matt Montgomery.
Heggelund pounded out three victories in Vancouver on February 3 and 4, 1978 to win the senior novice welterweight
Silver Gloves Championship. Henry was also the senior silver-boy runner-up. The last Victoria boxer to win a senior
Silver Gloves championship from Victoria was Danny O'Sullivan in 1975. Montgomery won junior Silver Gloves
championship after defeating a boxer from the Port Kells boxing club. Henry three victories were over boxers from Vancouver, Campbell River and Nelson.
Also, in 1978 Victoria boxer Gary Robinson left for a two week training session for the Junior National Championship
on June 17th. Over the years, Robinson was coached by Mike Caird, Gordie McGaw, Larry Montgomery, Brian Zelley
Lou Bujdoso and Jim Ballendine.
BRITISH COLUMBIA AMATEUR BOXING
At the present time there is no official Amateur Boxing Hall of Fame in British Columbia, This blog looks at the history of amateur boxing in British Columbia to attempt to uncover the many individuals, clubs and organizations that have contributed to the success of "AMATEUR BOXING in BRITISH COLUMBIA.
As we look through the decades of Golden Gloves boxing in BC from 1939 to 2009, there have been many Golden Boys.
It all began with the 1939 tournament with Phil Vickery. Due to WW II, there was no 1943 tournament. The next five
Golden Boys were Terry Doyle, Bob Hickey, Jack Hamilton, Harry Smith and Chester Orr.
The 1946 BC Golden Gloves was titled: "Vancouver Sun Golden Gloves" and was held at the Hastings Park Forum
on February 14th. - 15th., 1946. It was under the sanction of "The AAU Of Canada" and the BC Amateur Boxing Association.
It was hosted by the "Vancouver Active Club". The Committee was comprised of:
W J FINDLAY (The Sun), C W GOODRICH (Active Club) and ART HODGINSON (BCABA).
Some of the early supporters of the Golden Gloves were SID BEECH, BILLY OATES, CY & REG PAXTON and many more.
A long term announcer of the event was TOMMY CRUISE while BERT MURRAY and WALTER BROWN did the timekeeping duties.
Over the decades many other boxers would win the Golden Boy award such as two time winner Vancouver's own DICK FINDLAY and three-time Junior BC Golden Boy CLIFF BALLENDINE of the Victoria Athletic Association. Of course, Vancouver Island boxers did not always compete in the BC Golden Gloves, but some from the Sixties were Al Curtis, Tommy Black,
Skimp Williams, Larry Cardinal, Danny Daniels, Mike Caird, Les Vegas, Ken Alexander, Billy Taylor, Brian Zelley.
Tony James and 1964 Olympic boxer Fred Desrosiers.