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.


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