Friday, 18 September 2015

Boxing Memorabilia Fayre - 10th October 2015.

The annual boxing memorabilia fayre will be held this year on 10th October 2015 at the Dick Collins Hall, Redhill Street, London NW1.       This excellent event has been running for many years now and is  very well-established, attended by most of Britain's leading dealers and collectors.  
Old boxing magazines, photographs, handbills, fight programmes will all be available in abundance and, with free parking available, it is a good opportunity for someone with a boxer in their ancestry  to track down rare items from Britain's boxing past and there will be every chance that the name of your boxing ancestor will feature somewhere on the many items that will be for sale.

For further information on this event contact Kymberley or Chas on either 01707 654677 or 07956 912471.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

The Stylist From Stepney

By O. F. Snelling

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 1997.

Harry Mizler with brother Moe and trainer Nat Sellar
I have often been asked: ‘Who was the finest stylist you ever saw?’ My answer has always been the same, for I saw the man box when I was in my teens, and I never saw anyone who quite compared with him, up to the present time. I am now over 80.

He was not a world-beater, and nobody could ever say that he was one of the finest ringsters of all time. But he was certainly one of the most pleasing to watch, if you have a feeling for grace and aesthetics within the ropes. He was an artist, if not quite of the absolute first class, and his name was Harry Mizler.

He was born at the beginning of the year 1913, and he was usually billed as hailing from St. George's, although Stepney has often been mentioned as his birthplace. It comes to much the same thing. Certainly, he was a London East Ender, and he grew up in the 1920s in the heart of the Jewish community, where so many pugilists like Ted 'Kid' Lewis, Jack 'Kid' Berg, and Benny Caplan made their starts.

Harry was tutored by ‘big’ brother, Moe Mizler, who was in fact a very tiny but extremely capable flyweight who mixed with some of the best of his time, including legends of that era like 'Nipper' Pat Daly. The youthful Harry took to the game very early, and he soon showed signs of being a boxing prodigy.

Monday, 23 February 2015

George Naufahu of Tonga, boxer, trainer and a well-respected Chesterfield character

George Naufahu, one of that fine group of Tongans who came to Britain in the mid nineteen-fifties, died on February 13th aged 88. The victim of a stroke, George’s passing will be greatly mourned not only by the  many people associated with the game in and around Chesterfield, but also by many who remember him in his native Tonga, ten thousand miles away. He is to be buried today at the Salem Methodist Independent Chapel in Chesterfield.
George arrived in Britain in 1956 aged 29.   He joined the same stable as his compatriot Kitione Lave and trained initially at the Cantley Saw Mills Gymnasium near Doncaster. He weighed fourteen and a half stone and he claimed to have had 50 amateur and 38 professional contests prior to making his British debut.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Johnny Hughes – British and World Title Claimant, Promoter and Film Extra

Johnny Hughes in his prime
Remembering Johnny Hughes (Bloomsbury), the early 20th-century British and world title claimant who became a promoter and film extra.

Recently I heard from June Hurst, granddaughter of Bloomsbury flyweight Johnny Hughes, who boxed professionally from around 1900 to 1923 and was one of the best British boxers of the day. But like many top men of that era he is now largely forgotten.

Eminent boxing writer and historian Gilbert Odd described Johnny as ‘a rough, tearaway fighter with a punch a lightweight would have envied. He could be outpointed providing he didn’t knock you out first.’ While old-time fight journalist Charlie Rose remembered him as ‘one of the toughest and hardest-hitting flyweights that I can recall’.

He said: ‘Though barely 8st, this great little battler from Bloomsbury often gave half a stone to high-class men, and brought home the bacon by exploding dynamite in his right glove against either the point, the heart or the short ribs. Johnny also carried a dangerous left hook in his repertoire of punches, and could locate the “mark” with it more efficiently than most.’

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Johnny Barton of Lancaster - an obituary by Larry Braysher

Lancaster lost one of its sporting legends of the past when former professional boxer Johnny Barton died recently in a Morecambe nursing home aged ninety. Johnny, whose real name was Chippendale, started his boxing career during the Second World War whilst he was serving in the Royal Navy, but it was after he was demobbed in 1945 that it gained momentum.

Known as the ‘Fighting Lumberjack’ Johnny’s two biggest assets were his ability to take a punch without any adverse effect he was never knocked out or stopped (except on cuts) in his sixty two bouts, something he attributed to the thick muscular neck which he developed and also his incredible physical strength that helped him become a fearsome puncher. Johnny had done heavy manual jobs all his working life and it certainly paid dividends during his ring career.

These qualities helped Johhny become one of the country’s foremost light-heavyweights of the immediate post-war era. However, although it seems astonishing these days, during his time in the ring Johnny never boxed for a title.