Gilbert Odd joined the staff of 'Boxing' in 1922 and was later the Editor of its successor, 'Boxing News'. He wrote numerous boxing-related books and was recognised as one of Britain’s leading boxing historians and boxing writers. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF) in 1995 and died in 1996, aged 93.
This article is reproduced with the kind permission of Derek O’Dell, Editor and Producer of ‘The Southern Ex-Boxer’, in which it was first published in 2001.
He told me he was Jack Hall, lived in Thornton Heath, worked on the railway, and was a professional boxer. He started a friendship that lasted 60 years.
We talked about my recent visits to the Crystal Palace, where I'd seen Frank Goddard knock out Billy Wells, Roland Todd outpoint Ted Moore, and Albert Jeal draw with Wal Jordon. He told me he was periodically called upon to box in a minor bout at The Ring, Blackfriars, and invited me to his gym at Dennett Road, which turned out to be a loft over his father's stable.
He encouraged me to pull on a pair of well-worn gloves and step into the single-roped ring. It was difficult to avoid falling through it as there was a large square hole in the middle, through which a ladder had been placed to get us aloft.