Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Boxing On The Island and the Club Shows

THE FIGHT CARDS: by Brian Zelley

Over the decades, the regular boxing cards from Victoria to Gold River
have been an important element in the growth and improvement of 
the sport of boxing, it also becomes a good learning experience for
novice boxers and a good tune-up for boxers preparing for the
many tournaments that may be available for them.  

Club Shows In The Sixties:

From 1964 to 1968 most of the club show would be held
on a regular basis in Victoria with some being held in 
Port Alberni.

1964:  "NanaimoBoxers Earn Split In Victoria Bouts"

The above was the headline in
the "Nanaimo Daily Free Press"
following one of the boxing cards
held in the early part of 1964.

The Nanaimo boxers in action were:
Leo Rock, Chris Balatti, Gilles Nepper, 
Leon Nepper, Roger Nepper and Brian Zelley

The opponents were:
Norman Williams, Tom Kelley, Andy Ross,
Charles Forscutt, Larry Hay and Pat Alwood.
In other bouts boxers were:  Gordon Harvey, Dave Way, Mike Miller,
Jim Fenwick, Rich Uche and Bill Pepper.

During the 1963/1964 season, there were many other club shows which
would end with the Vancouver Island Amateur Boxing Championships.
Two of the boxers on the club card would be two of the champions from
Nanaimo in the later championships including Gilles Nepper and Brian Zelley. 

Fast forward from 1964 to 1968 and another all-star card hosted by 
Harry Morris and the London Boxing Club:

March 29, 1968:
* a 15-bout  which included
some top names of boxers
from British Columbia
including Victoria's 
Gary Van Buskirk and
Nanaimo's Tony James.
James had made a great
showing recently in 
the 1968 BC Golden Gloves
but lost a controversial and
disputed decision with 
1967 Canadian champion
Wayne Boyce.  

There would be other club shows after that all-star show but there was no
major tournament on Vancouver Island until the Seventies would unleash
many great shows in various locations including Nanaimo.

FIRE and ICE a cold cold day in Nanaimo 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Looking to 2014 BCABHOF Nominations


* As the process of the British Columbia Amateur Boxing 
Hall of Fame continues in 2014,  there will be a need folks
that are past or present members of Vancouver Island to 
attempt to select some choices by September 2013 so 
they can be submitted in a timely basis.

*to begin this process a site has been established that 
will enable persons involved to review the list of over 225
names and reduce them to a smaller number of say about 25
and then review them for
C. A. P. - Contribuions - Achievements - Participation
in the sport of amateur boxing from boxing, coaching,
administration and journalism. 



The above is a list of 28 names that covers many decades of boxing
on Vancouver Island, but there are many others that could be added.
Although some of those that would be considered builders have been
boxers, it is more representative that they would qualify as builders
and not boxer  Ones that would be strictly boxers or junior/youth
include: Alan Curtis, Billy Taylor, Gary Robinson,  and Kit Munro.

Two of the listed names have served as Vancouver Island Amateur
Boxing commissioners: Bert Wilkinson and Howard Curling.
Ones that are primarily coaches in the buiding area would be
Alex Riley, Art Smith,  Barry Creswell,  Bob Pegues, Brian Sacho,
Don Orr, Jason Heit, Jim Hills, Lloyd Anderson, Lou Bujdoso, 
Mike Caird, Mike Wood, Nick Lystar,  and Skimp Williams
The others listed would have been involved in various parts of  
the building process. 


Selected between 2010 and 2014 from above names:
Bert Wilkinson, Kit Munro, and  Bob Pegues. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013


                                       BRITISH COLUMBIA AMATEUR 

                                       BOXING HALL OF FAME
                                           2013 Inductees

Golden Girl
- Women in Boxing -

Other Island Names in 2013

Vic Murdoch, Derrick Hoyt, Mickey Griffin,
Gary Wood, Jack Snaith, George Nepper
Jim Howie and Jeannine Garside.

Other Island Names: 2010 to 2012

Rick Brough, Dale Walters, Donnie Orr,
Matt O'Brien, Alan Brown, Geoge Shiels,
Charles John, Eddie Haddad and
Fred Desrosiers.
Eddie Haddad is also an
inductee of the:
*Greater Victoria Sports
Hall of Fame.
*Manitoba Sports 
Hall of Fame.
* Canadian Military 
Sports Hall of Fame.

(Dale Walters fought for the Burnaby boxing club and Astoria in Vancouver
but was born in Port Alice so has a connection to Vancouver Isand)

* Campbell River Eagles Boxing Club and
* Nanaimo Boxing Club
\Vancouver Island folks were also involved
in the 1967 Centennial International
Diamond Belt tournament:
*** boxers were Billy Taylor, Brian  Zelley, Ken Alexander and Les Vegas. ***
After the 1966/67 season, Billy, Brian and Les moved to train at different 
clubs in Vancouver: Billy Taylor: Astoria Boxing Club
Brian Zelley: Firefighters Boxing Club and
Les Vegas:  East Vancouver Optimists Boxing Club.  


Tuesday, February 12, 2013



                                              Nanaimo boxers training - Brian and Tony

Beginning with action in the 1960 BC Golden Gloves tournament, Vancouver Island boxing
would rock throughout the Sixties with activity in Esquimalt, Victoria, Chemainus, Nanaimo and Port Alberni with a ready supply of boxers including boxers from the armed forces
stationed in Victoria and Esquimalt.  

In addition to the  Golden Gloves, boxers from Vancouver Island would compete in 
various provincial tournaments from the Bronze Gloves to the 1967 Diamond Belt
tournament  and the BC Golden Gloves in 1967 and 1968.  Boxers would also be
involved in Island tournaments including the 1964 Vancouver Island Boxing


Boxers from Victoria, Esquimalt, RCN, Nanaimo, and Chemainus  would
compete in the tournaments in Vancouver with one of the standouts being
Alan Curtis, the 1960 BC Golden Boy. 

Some of the golden gloves alumni  in action during the Sixties were:
Alan Curtis, Billy Taylor, Brian Zelley, Bruce Baillie, Cal Osmond, 
Danny Daniels,  Danny McDonald, Gordie McGaw, Gordon Rabey, 
Ken Alexander, Larry Cardinal,  Les Vegas, Mike Caird, Skimp Williams,
Fred Desrosiers, Tommy Black and Tony James. 

In the Sixties we had our share of champions such as 
Mike Lazare, Gary Van Buskirk, Ken Stant and Rick Johnson

                                            Mike Lazare
                                     1965 Emerald Gloves

1984 Vancouver Island

 Amateur Boxing championships

* Beyond the various Vancouver Island Golden
Gloves tournaments from 1954 onwarde, it was
decided in the Olympc year to hav an Island
championships which would be hosted by the
London Boxing Club.

At the end of the tournament there would be a
number of champions, but this tournament would
not take place again until it was revived in 1984.

The Champions:
Gilles Nepper, Howie Rabey, Brian Zelley,
Tommy Black, Larry Williams, Ken Alexander,
and Rifleman Walsh.


Brian Zelley
Roger Nepper
Leo Rock
Gilles Nepper

The 1964 Olympic Games:

Royal Canadian Navy boxer                 Fred Desrosiers,
would earn a victory in the Olympic Trials to represent Canada in the Olympics.

The revival of the BC Silver Gloves in 1968

It was an interesting year for Boxing in British Columbia, but beyond
the hopes and dreams of the senior open boxers there was a new door
for open junior boxers and novice seniors it the revival of the Silver Gloves
in Richmond.  And, boxers from Vancouver Island would be part of the show.

Silver Gloves before the revival in '68
In 1960 the British Columbia Silver Gloves would be directed by Burnaby
boxing coach Harry Twist.  That tournament would be held in the Burnaby
high school.  However, between 1961 and 1967, the tournament was not held.
But, in 1968 the United Commercial Travellers would sponsor the show 
in Richmond's "Sea Island Hall"  with boxers from different regions of the province.

The Island connection:
Vancouver Island boxers that would be involved in the finals would include
boxers from Nanaimo and Port Alberni.  Nanaimo boxers would be
Rick Johnson  (a former bronze gloves champion), Tony James and Bob Lewis.
In the finals from Port Alberni  was Bob Scharff.

The 1967 Diamond Belt revival in Vancouver:

In 1980, the Diamond Belt tournament was revived in Victoria
and hosted by the Victoria Jaycees Boxing Club with some assistance
by the Victoria Athletic Association.  One of the important pre-show
news stories was looking back to the 1967 tournament by the reporter
from the "Times-Colonist" Max Low.  In the article, he looked back 
and remembered the participation of Victoria boxers Billy Taylor, Les Vegas
and Ken Alexander, and Nanaimo boxer Brian Zelley.  But some of the 
other names mentioned was guest referee Rocky Marciano and Diamond Boy
Dave Wylie from the Vancouver Firefighters who had also been engaged
in club show in Victoria in the mid-sixties.  But, there were some others 
mentioned such as Freddy Fuller.