Canadian Boxing—What Resurgence?

By Ted Sares on January 27, 2012
Canadian Boxing—What Resurgence?
The notion that Canadian boxing is undergoing a resurgence is false and I'll tell you why

Way up in the rafters, you can hear conversations about Durelle, Chuvalo, the Hiltons, Gatti, Pep, Gray, Melo, and so many others…

“Some of the great names in boxing history—the likes of Sam Langford, Tommy Burns, Jimmy McLarnin and George Chuvalo, amongst scores of others—made Canadians proud as established, top-level fighters.”—Jake Emen

“USA was great to me. That was around the time that Sean O’Grady was doing the commentating, and Sean was a great guy. I love Sean and he was always fair in any comments he made about a lot of the fighters that I have heard him commentate about. The USA boxing program was absolutely incredible. I was happy to be a small part of people’s enjoyment when they turned on the TV to watch boxing.”—Scotty “The Bulldog” Olson

Back in the Day 

The notion that Canadian boxing is undergoing a resurgence of sorts is totally false. Boxing in Canada has enjoyed a rich and enduring tradition which goes back well before “The Fighting Fisherman” Yvon Durelle participated in perhaps the greatest fight in history against Archie Moore in 1958. Heck, bantamweight George Dixon (1870-1908) was the first black world boxing champion in any weight class, while also being the first ever Canadian-born boxing champion. Canadian boxing history includes names like Hall of Famer Jimmy McLarnin (54-11-3), Jack Delaney (77-12-2), Hall of Famer Tommy Burns (48-5-8), Bob Cleroux (48-6-1), Hall of Famer Lou Brouillard (108-29-2), Durelle (87-23-2), and legendary heavyweight George Chuvalo (73-18-2). Of course, listing the names of all notable Canadian fighters would require more space that I am allotted.

Durable John “Jackie” Callura (59-41-12) fought between 1936 and 1947 with his biggest win coming against Jackie Wilson (90-22-8) for the NBA featherweight title in 1943. Callura boxed an amazing 874 rounds during his career.

Fan favorite Donato Paduano (43-9-2) won his first 16 fights, winning the Canadian welterweight title against Joey Durelle (60-7-4) in 1969. He then beat Irish Pat Murphy (25-0) at Madison Square Garden in 1970 and whipped Marcel Cerdan Jr. (47-1-1) also at the Garden in 1970. He won 22 straight before losing to future WBA lightweight champion Ken Buchanan (37-1). Paduano lost his Canadian title to rugged Clyde Gray (24-1 coming in). Gray would go on to chalk up an old school mark of 69-10-1 boxing between 1968 and 1980 and fighting an inordinate number of tough opponents. His last fight was a KO over Allen Clark. Gray had waxed Clark’s brother Chris (19-0) a year earlier in Halifax.

The aforementioned Chuvalo (who lost two of three to fellow Canadian and vastly underrated great Bob Cleroux) fought just about everyone during the ‘50s and ‘60s as did Cleroux (48-5-1).

Lightweight Johnny Summerhays (40-22-3) was stopped only once and that was by Frankie Benítez in 1974 in Madison Square Garden. He split a pair with Canadian warrior Gaétan Hart and beat Terrence Alli in 1982

More Recent

“I was happy I’d won. But a few seconds later when I turned around to see Denny still lying on the mat, I thought to myself, ‘Oh no, oh no.’”— Gaétan Hart

“It (Hart vs. Nicky Furlano) was for the Canadian Lightweight title, and it was one of the greatest fights in Canadian boxing history, especially with a Canadian title on the line.”—Russ Anber

Gaétan Hart (57-31-5) was a lightweight/welterweight who was a three-time boxing champion in Canada. He lost his only world title bid against the great Aaron Pryor in 1980. Unfortunately, Hart is most remembered for his fights with Cleveland Denny and Ralph Racine. Denny died 16 days after being knocked out by Hart in 1980. He fought Denny thrice going 2-1. Just six weeks before fighting Denny, Hart knocked out and disabled another young Canadian lightweight, Ralph Racine, who later slipped into a coma but thankfully survived.

The two fights between Eddie Melo (32-9-2) and Fernand Marcotte (53-14-4) are part and parcel of Canadian boxing lore. Melo won the first one by SD in 1978 at the unheard of age of 17. He lost the rematch by MD in 1979. The two fought to a draw in 1980. The first fight was a great one, but the rematch was just as good. Around this same period during the ‘80s, fighters like Nick Furlano, Mario Cusson, Chris Clarke, and Jean-Claude LeClair were front and center as well. Furlano’s fight with Hart in 1980 is also considered one for the ages. Having twice engaged in furious wars, the third fight between the two is what many remember as the best of their trilogy. Hart won the all-action fight by split-decision, avenging his loss to Furlano seven months prior. It was toe-to-toe all the way.

Donny “Golden Boy” Lalonde had a great and high profile run finishing with a 44-5-1 mark with 36 knockouts. His career, interrupted by many retirements, spanned a period of 23 years from 1980-2003.

Shawn O’Sullivan (23-5) and heavyweight Willie Dewitt both won silver in the Olympics and had success in the pro ranks during the 80s and 90s. Dewitt finished with a 21-1-1 record and became a lawyer.

Nick Rupa toiled as a middleweight in the ‘90s and finished with a fine 32-8-1 record as he fought particularly rugged opposition.

The Hiltons, Gattis, Lucas, and Ouellet

Who could ever forget the Fighting Hiltons (Alex, Dave Sr., Dave Jr., and Matthew)? When these controversial men fought, the fans packed venues to the rafters. Davey Sr. (67-16) won the Canadian featherweight title in only his sixth fight. Davey Jr. (41-2-2) won the WBC super middleweight champion from Dingaan Thobela in 2000. Matthew became the IBF light middleweight champion defeating Buster Drayton in 1987. He retired atypically early at age 27 with a final record of 32-3-1. Alex (37-11), Joe Gatti’s brother-in-law, was the only Hilton not to win a world title.

Eric Lucas (39-8) battled from 1991-2010. He won the vacant WBC super middleweight title in 2001 with an avenging KO of Brit Glenn Catley. Stephane “Le Poète” Ouellet (29-5) stopped Alex Hilton twice but lost two of three to Dave Hilton. His first KO loss to Dave came with 18 seconds remaining in the 12th and final round in an unforgettable fight that “Le Poete” was winning when Hilton came back to win in this classic Francophone vs. Anglophone rivalry. Arguably, it was the greatest fight in Québec’s modern era and it happened before 17,000 fans crammed into the Molson Centre. The Canadian middleweight title was at stake. Ouellet later avenged the defeat.

The Gatti brothers—Arturo and Joe—had a similar impact on Canadian fans. In a face-off between two Montreal boxers, the legendary Arturo retired Romanian-born Leonard “The Lion” Dorin (22-1-1) with a single body shot in the second round of their fight in 2004. It was one of many memorable fights by “Thunder.”

Other Notables

Jamaican-Canadian heavyweight Trevor Berbick (49-11-1) made his mark, but ended up a tragic figure. Another Jamaican-Canadian-English heavyweight named Lennox Lewis (41-2-1) was anything but tragic as he retired as the undisputed world heavyweight champion. He suffered only two losses, both of which he avenged by stoppage. Lewis won the heavyweight championship three times and was the fourth man to reclaim the lineal championship. He holds dual British and Canadian citizenship. Kirk Johnson (37-2-1) was from Nova Scotia but never realized the potential he displayed in the amateur ranks. However, he did manage some impressive wins along the way including a brutal KO of Oleg Maskaev in 2000. As an aside, his 2006 bout with Javier Mora ended by ND in the seventh round when Johnson suffered a dislocated knee. The facts and circumstances involved in that decision could have served as a precedent in the recent Hopkins-Dawson debacle but inexplicitly were never mentioned.

In a rematch of the 1988 Middleweight Olympic finals, Guyana-born Edgerton Marcus lost to undefeated Henry Maske in 1995 in Marcus’ 15th fight as a pro. In 2001, Marcus was later stopped by fellow Canadian Donovan “Razor” Ruddock (38-5-1). The Jamaica-born Razor fought a high level of opposition and held his own against the best including champions Mike Weaver, Mike Tyson (twice), Tommy Morrison, Greg Page, Michael Dokes, James “Bonecrusher” Smith, and Lennox Lewis. Ruddock was one of those who fell into the category of “The Best Fighter Who Never Became Champion.” Tyson called Ruddock the hardest puncher he ever met.

Edmonton heavyweight Ken Lakusta ran up a less-than-stellar record of 22-23-1 and he was chilled a startling 17 times, but he likely fought the stiffest opposition of any Canadian fighter in history. Among his eye-popping opponents were Francois Botha, Davis Tua, Larry Holmes, George Foreman, Tommy Morrison, Razor Ruddock, Michael Dokes, Willie Dewitt (twice), Rodney Frazier, Frank Bruno, Trevor Berbick, Pierre Coetzer, Steffen Tangstad, and Mark Carrier.

Jamaica-born Otis “Magic” Grant (38-3-1) turned pro in 1988 and captured the vacant WBO middleweight crown in 1997 with a decision over Ryan Rhodes in England.

Popular and durable Tony Pep (44-10-1) was a road warrior who was as game as they come but had a knack for losing every time he stepped up. He fought between mostly 1982 and 2001, though he came back to beat one Leonardo Rojas in 2008.

Referee Marlon Wright (of Bute vs. Andrade fame) went 10-1 as a welterweight, avenging his only loss by beating tough Alain Bonnamie (21-9-3) in 1992. Alain went 2-2-1 against the Hiltons. He lost to Nicholson Poulard (17-3) in his last fight in May 2011.

Billy “The Kid” Irwin (42-6) was stopped in his last fight but that was the only stoppage this teak tough lightweight ever suffered. Along the way, The Kid won a number of regional titles and pleased fans in the process as he seldom left anything in the ring. Chad “Bad Intentions” Brisson (22-2) is making a comeback after a long layoff and has won 12 straight since losing to Irwin in 1996. Fitzroy “Fitz the Whip” Vanderpool won five professional titles; the Canadian Professional Boxing Federation title, the WBF Intercontinental title, the WBC Welterweight Fecarbox title, the WBF Super Welterweight World title, and the WBC Super Welterweight Fecarbox title. His brother Syd “The Jewel” Vanderpool (35-4), who had a win against Glen Johnson in 2000, won an IBF Super Middleweight Title Eliminator against Tito Mendoza but then lost his title bid when he stepped up in 2004 and tangled with a prime Jeff Lacy.

Québec native Hercules Kyvelos won his first 22, but then he ran into Antonio Margarito in 2004 and that was pretty much the end of Hercules.

Nigerian-born and Halifax-raised heavyweight David Defiagbon (21-2) made his mark as well before retiring in 2005.

Two female fighters warrant mention. Jaime ”The Hurricane” Clampitt (21-5-1) won a world championship in the lightweight division but was TKO’d in the first round by Holly Holm in her last outing in 2010. Canadian-born and highly talented Jessica Rakoczy boxed professionally from 2000 to 2009, amassing an impressive 31-3 record. She was a three-time WIBA World Champion and NABAW Lightweight Champ.

Present Scene

An infusion of Haitian and Romanian born fighters like Jean Pascal (26-2-1), Lucian Bute (30-0), and Adrian Diaconu (27-3) has riveted attention to boxing in the province of Québec and may have reinforced the false notion of a resurgence, but the fact is the new fighters have connected with fans in much the same way that older Canadian fighters did. There are many ex-champions, contenders, and top prospects in Canada including heavyweight Bermane Stirverne, comebacking Joachim Alcine (33-2-1), Adonis Stevenson (16-1), still viable David Lemieux (25-2), Antonin Decarie (26-1), undefeated light welterweight Dierry Jean (20-1), two-time IBF super bantamweight titleholder Steve “The Canadian Kid” Molitor (34-2), Sebastien Gauthier (21-3), the sensational and lightning fast Pier Olivier Côté (18-0), streaking and fun-to-watch Mikael Zewski (12-0), Romanian-born “Jo Jo Dan” Ion (26-2) whose only two defeats were to Turk Selcuk Aydin, Logan McGuiness (16-0) who recently shocked and KOd former title contender Benoit Gaudet, and Guyana-born cruiserweight Troy Ross (24-2).

Speaking of Molitor, he beat the always exciting Scotty “The Bulldog” Olson (35-4-2) in 2002 in Scotty’s last fight, but during the Bulldog’s prime run in the ‘90s; Olson was a popular and highly entertaining fixture in Las Vegas and on TV and his connection with fans was electric. In 1994, he won the IBO flyweight title and successfully defended it six times, but in-between he lost to future Hall of Famer Michael Carbajal in a bruising fight in 1997 for the more prestigious IBA title. There wasn’t a fight the Bulldog participated in where he left anything in the locker room.

In summary, there has been no resurgence. These days, the Bell Centre in Montreal and the Pepsi Center in marvelous Québec City have become the meccas of Canadian boxing, and men like world champion Lucian Bute, Jean Pascal, and Pier Olivier Côté continue to bring thrills to the Canadian boxing fanatics. But way up in the rafters, you can hear conversations about Durelle, Chuvalo, the Hiltons, Gatti, Pep, Gray, Melo, and so many others.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

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Marcel Thil vs. Lou Brouillard I, II, & III

Ralph Racine

Fernand Marcotte jr-Eddy Mélo-26.10.1978 part 1

Fernand Marcotte jr-Eddy Mélo-26.10.1978 part 2

Fernand Marcotte jr-Eddy Mélo-26.10.1978 part 3

Fernand Marcotte jr-Eddy Mélo-26.10.1978 part 4

Fernand Marcotte jr-Eddy Mélo-26010-1978 part 5

Boxing Legend Dave Hilton Sr

Dave Hilton VS Stephane Ouellet 1 - Part 1

Dave Hilton VS Stephane Ouellet 1 - Part 2

Dave Hilton VS Stephane Ouellet 1 - Part 3

Dave Hilton VS Stephane Ouellet 1 - Part 4

Dave Hilton VS Stephane Ouellet 1 - Part 5

Arturo Gatti v Leonard Dorin

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  1. bikermike 11:14am, 04/06/2013


    ‘S’UP buddy….

    We’re still snowed in up here….not many thongs to appreciate…but our imagination is at peak……..wonder what she looks like under that parka and ski pants ????

    All the best buddy…..and I remember that Hilton - Drayton thing…..
    That is just one of the fights that make me love Boxing….

    Tell me about the sun screen you need down there…...just so I can remember the summer months

  2. bikermike 11:05am, 04/06/2013

    and let’s not forget how Dale ‘COWBOY’ Brown got screwed out of his clear victory over that ass hole….bell….who went on to make some money ...Dale Brown beat him clean…and thouroughly…...check it out

    Scotty’THE BULLDOG’ ....should have done better….but was held back by his amateur coaching

    Having said all that…..Canada…like USA has had a complete collapse of amateur Boxing….infighting and lack of co operation is far too commonplace.
    If I were KING….both USA and Canada would have their national executives shut down and put in a commissioner…for ten years….

    After ten years…no club would operate without a sponsor..and there would be Official’s Association completely independant of Boxing Clubs

    Each Province/State would have a set of Champions…and each week…those Champions would travel to other areas to face better competition…and anybody worthy could challange for their division’s Title…
    National/Olympic Team Titles would be much more competitvie…

  3. bikermike 10:54am, 04/06/2013

    Didn’t leave many out….Michael Olijidai….(spelling)...

    Ken Lakusta fought against good opponents…but then again…so did George Chuvalo…...Chuvalo had to fight when his opponents were in their primes… disrespect to Ken…but CHuvalo is the guy for Canadian HW…..he got reeeeeeeeemed with that Ernie Terrell thing…for WBA TITLE….big time
    Had Chuvalo sought good management earlier….he would have been World Champ….easy

    Who can forget Tommy Burns…...he played Pro Hockey….Pro BOxing…hell of an athlete…..
    Met his match with Jack Johnson….maybe the best of all time

    Hiltons….tuff fkrs….but their idea of long term planning was to check to see it there was toilet paper…before heaving forth…badly raised..and badly managed

  4. bobby tierney 03:19am, 06/02/2012

    joe borden, warrior. fought everybody. ducked nobody. art hafey one of the best off all-time.

  5. the thresher 06:46am, 02/02/2012

    Damm , Bill, the fans in Japan have changed. Check out the following:

    Makoto Fuchigami vs. Koji Sato

    Akira Yaegashi vs. Pornsawan “Terminator” Porpramook

    Any of Kazuto Ioka’s fights

    Why are you being so truculent?

  6. SR.BILL-HARDPORN XXX 07:20pm, 02/01/2012

    Not ringside…. Maybe in the nose bleed section, but I don’t sit there….

  7. the thresher 10:29am, 02/01/2012

    No Bill, just the opposite, they go bonkers at their fights.

  8. SR.BILL-HARDPORN XXX 08:40pm, 01/31/2012

    The Japs sure are quiet at ringside… You can hear a mouse fart in the arena… Very reserved and controlled people…. WORD!

  9. SR.BILL-HARDPORN XXX 08:37pm, 01/31/2012

    I’m kickin’ it at the crib tonight and rented Steve Martin in “Pink Panther 2” that had a few laughs and now I broke out my 1996 tape of “Foreman-Grimsley” from Japan…..

  10. the thresher 05:34pm, 01/31/2012

    Maybe Hart because he was so active.

    I liked the Bulldog a lot and also Davey and Matthew Hilton.

  11. pugknows 03:19pm, 01/31/2012

    Who was your favorite Canadian fighter, Bull?

  12. mikecasey 07:28am, 01/31/2012

    Look forward to it, champ!

  13. the thresher 06:18am, 01/31/2012

    Yes, Mike. I got most of them, but my piece in the next IBRO Journal includeds ALL OF THEM. It’s everything you ever wanted to know about Canadian pofessional boxing—at least I hope it is.

  14. mikecasey 05:54am, 01/31/2012

    The brilliantly talented Jack Delaney and two-division champ Lou Brouillard are sadly not mentioned now. Thanks for highlighting them, Ted.

  15. SR.BILL-HARDPORN XXX 10:50pm, 01/30/2012

    I want “Klit-Chisora.” WORD!!

  16. SR.BILL-HARDPORN XXX 10:49pm, 01/30/2012

    “Berto-Ortiz 2” is off… Berto injured… No biggie… Typical of today’s boxing… WORD!

  17. SR.BILL-HARDPORN XXX 09:07am, 01/30/2012

    As far as a link goes, I’m guessin’ you gotta be a Facebook member to see the ad / listing. He has it posted under his own name; not his Amato Boxing Page. There is a way to share the link, but I only see where a Facebook subscriber can see it. It won’t let me e-mail it to your inbox. I mentioned the new crime book there as well…

  18. the thresher 06:45am, 01/30/2012

    MRBILL, Do you have a link to Amato’s site?

  19. the thresher 06:44am, 01/30/2012

    jc40, Hall of Famer Jimmy McLarnin (54-11-3), Jack Delaney (77-12-2), Hall of Famer Tommy Burns (48-5-8), Bob Cleroux (48-6-1), Hall of Famer Lou Brouillard (108-29-2), Durelle (87-23-2), and legendary heavyweight George Chuvalo (73-18-2).

  20. Ted Sares 06:43am, 01/30/2012

    jc40-Chuvalo, Clerouux, Bute, the Hiltons, Gatti, and more than I can list here.

  21. SR.BILL-HARDPORN XXX 10:26pm, 01/29/2012

    I see Jim Amato has got your book “Boxing Is My Santuary” posted and advertised on his Facebook boxing page… He’s got a picture of the cover shown… Any pub is good pub… WORD!

  22. JC40 09:41pm, 01/29/2012

    Have there been any other great fighters from Canada apart from Langford and McLarnin , Ted ? I dont count Lennox as a Canuck ;-)

  23. the thresher 05:43am, 01/29/2012

    RR just wanted some attention. They all seem to do that from time to time.When Beridk does it, however, you best pay some serious attention!

  24. SR.BILL-HARDPORN XXX 07:22pm, 01/28/2012

    After 10 bells on Sat. night and I have “The Godfather” of ‘72 rolling… Classic… My HBO and Cinemax deal has expired, so it’s only Turner Classics and ESPN over here…. YAWN! Therefore I do the video / DVD scene to maintain interest… Regular television blows… WORD!

  25. SR.BILL-HARDPORN XXX 05:15pm, 01/28/2012

    WTF is up with the supposed Razor Ruddock comeback? He was in training in 2010 and looking slim / lean, but as of ‘12 he hasn’t done jack… WORD!

  26. the thresher 02:09pm, 01/28/2012

    Irish Frankie, Yes I do like to research. In fact, I did a much lengthier and far more inclusive version of this piece for the next IBRO Journal. Loved doing it.

    Thanks for the prop. It makes it all worthwhile.

  27. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 12:02pm, 01/28/2012

    If the shot that Bute landed in the accompanying photo can have that effect on Johnson’s scalp…just imagine the effect it had on his brain as it slammed against one side of his brainpan and then rebounded to the opposite side where the real damage is down.

  28. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 11:47am, 01/28/2012

    Franklin Dallas-“You have to make your opponent like getting hit.” I may be wrong about the exact context of this Sean O’Grady quote….but I think he meant that you don’t load up on every shot…so that when you do sit down on your punches the effect is that much greater when they land. I could be wrong on this…anyway Sean is one of my favorites too!

  29. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 11:36am, 01/28/2012

    Ted Sares-Researching, compiling, organizing, editing and then putting your unique stamp on an article like this clearly shows that you love this boxing game and especially the fighters way more than many of the rest of us. Not to change the subject, but it looks like Glencoffe’s scalp is doing the wave in the accompanying photo…talk about shock waves!

  30. FrankinDallas 09:11am, 01/28/2012

    Some people consider Lennox Lewis a Canadian…after all, he fought in the Olympics with the Maple Leaf on his boxing trunks. I agree about Sean O’Grady; I loved the way he did fights. “You have to make your opponent like getting hit”. The Champ!

  31. the thresher 06:46am, 01/28/2012

    SR. Bill, you have dementia WORD!

  32. SR.BILL-HARDPORN XXX 08:44pm, 01/27/2012

    I have Gaeten Hart getting TKO’d by Pryor… Canadian boxing has never been truly on fire… Yeah, Bute has livened it up a bit, but he ain’t kickin’ nobody’s ass aside from a no good Miranda and a 100 year old Johnson… WORD!

  33. pugknows 05:00pm, 01/27/2012

    Thanks Ted for a romp through history. This one brought back some great memories. I remember watching Scotty Olson with friends over at the place in Henderson.

  34. TEX HASSLER 03:23pm, 01/27/2012

    Not only is Sean O’Grady a genuine nice man, he is truly great at calling fights. I for one greatly miss the Tuesday Night Fights. Canadian boxing may be getting some publicity and it needs it but it is not producing fighters on the level of the old days. Certainly not a Sam Langford or a George Dixon.

  35. Iron Beach 12:51pm, 01/27/2012

    The Matthew Hilton-Buster Drayton was one of the best fights I remember seeing on Sat. afternoon TV, what a hard hitting battle. I figured Buster would make short work of Matt but damn did Hilton come to fight that day. Surprised he didn’t make a bigger name for himself.  Was a big fan of Otis Grant also, thanks for the memories Ted.

  36. the thresher 12:49pm, 01/27/2012

    My purpose in part was to jog some memories. I really enjoyed doing the research on this piece and reviewing the video footage. Scotty “The Bulldog” Olson brought back some fond memories. The Hart, Racine, Denny thing was very dark and became the subject of a documentary I believe and also an article in Ring or SI. The video of Racine above is chilling as it shows him lapsing into a coma.

    The Hiltons and their out-of-the ring stuff provided some heavy drama back then as well. And who can ever forget Benitez getting waxed. That was scary.



  37. mikecasey 12:42pm, 01/27/2012

    I remember these guys so well, Ted. That’s 75 fights for Vinnie and 65 for Art. Therre aren’t too many top guys who reach those totals these days!

  38. jofre 12:41pm, 01/27/2012

    Terrific article. Its nice to look back at the exceiting Canadians from the past. Dave Catilloux was an exciting lightweight contender 1938-1946; the tragic Johnny Greco, lightweight-welterweight contender 1943-1952; and the tragic Blair Richardson, middleweight contender 1966-1967.

  39. the thresher 12:33pm, 01/27/2012

    George Ross (36-6-1) from Halifax once beat a guy named Jackie Clark 4 times within 29 days during the early ‘50s.

    Art Hafey (53-8-4) fought mostly in California and that’s why I missed him, but he tended to lose every time he stepped up.  He lost to Olivares, Arguello, Octavio Gomez, and Danny Lopez.

    Gary Summerhays (39-17-3) once fought and lost to Marvin Camel, Edgar Wallace, Vonzell Johnson, Mike Rossman, and Michael Spinks in a tight time frame in 1977 and he went the distance in each fight. His level of opposition was way up there and much better than that of Hafey’s IMO. And he had some great KO victories.

    Vinny Curto went 62-10-3.  He fought in Canada in 1979 and 1980 and went 9-0. He fought in Florida almost 30 times.  I saw him fight against Chong-Pal Pak in Seoul in 1985 while I was living and working in South Korea at the time. The fight went 15 close rounds. Park KOd him in a rematch with seconds to go in the 15th round in LA.  Vinny was a road warrior and was as slick as they come. He won the WBF Cruiserweight title in his last fight in 1996.

  40. the thresher 12:07pm, 01/27/2012

    Vinnie, the reason I did not mention you was that I considered you a Boston and Florida fighter. You were not a Canadian citizen. Maybe I should have though.

    I did mention Russ in a quote. But I wanted to stay just with boxers. I have one on Russ/Lemuiex on the drawing board and that will come later.

  41. the thresher 12:00pm, 01/27/2012

    Holy shit, Vinnie Cuto. Russ is one of my best friends and you were one of my favorite fighters. I wrote about you in a chapter in my first book. I also saw you fight in Korea for the world title. That was a classic battle.

  42. Vinnie Curto 11:49am, 01/27/2012

    It’s so funny I left the United States and went to Canada and beat every fighter they put in front of me in the gym and or a fight.. I stayed and learned to love our neighbors They helped me when the US turned its back on me… I discovered a great talent that was among the ordinary but for me stood out like someone trying to say smoke meat taste like ICE CREAM, who worked up north scraping snow skis RUSS ANBER is his name…In this article i see no mention of me but TARBANOOSH Russ ANBER should be all over any boxing news that comes from CANADA especially at a time when I was there.. Montreal jourteme!!!! VC

  43. the thresher 11:24am, 01/27/2012

    Well Mike schmidt, I do believe I said that I did not have enough space to list all the notable Canadian fighters. And what do you mean by “and so it goes…”  Did I miss something? I am always anxious to learn.

  44. "Old Yank" Schneider 11:06am, 01/27/2012

    Really great read!

  45. mike schmidt 10:43am, 01/27/2012

    No big big mention for one of the VERY BEST and a guy that most certainly got the screw job in terms of a title shot when in his prime, number one ranked ART HAFEY who gave all the west coast tough guys all they could handle ....Gary Summehays of course, another of the brothers and so it goes…...

  46. mikecasey 10:05am, 01/27/2012

    Great article on the Canadian scene past and present - thoroughly enjoyable, Ted!

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