THE ROAD TO OLYMPIC GLORY: By Brian Zelley
The years 1939 to 1968 are
considered the Golden Age
of Amateur Boxing.
Boxing in British Columbia
and other parts of Cnada
would change with the
formation of the Canadian
Amateur Boxing Association
and each Province such as the
British Columbia Amateur Boxing
Association would start a new course which would lead to
Olympic Glory in 1984 when three boxers from Canada
including Dale Walters of Burnaby, British Columbia
would win medals. The other two being Willie DeWit
and Shawn O'Sullivan. That historical highlight would
be repeated with medals in 1988.
Lennie Walters - Olympic boxers
Dale 1984, Lennie 1948)
Sixteen Years To Achieve that Moment of Glory:
*Those 16 years from 1969
to 1984 would be filled with
many interesting events in the sport of amateur boxing in British Columbia.
1969: Neil Knight, Seattle
1970: Golden Gloves to be hosted by Boxing BC (BCABA), in the past it was sponsored
and hosted by various community groups such as the Optimists and the Lions Clubs.
1970: The Campbell River Eagles Boxing Club becomes an official boxing club.
1971: The Nanaimo Boxing Club is founded by Brian Zelley and Dan Wright,
1972: Chris Ius and Les Hamilton join the Canadian Olympic boxing team.
Major revival in amateur boxing in Greater Victoria with
Mike Caird, Gordie McGaw and Larry Montgomery receives a boost
with the arrival of Ian Weir, Dan Wright, and Brian Zelley to help in a
major program to improve boxing in the Capital City.
*news reporter for the "Victorian" does a major story
for amateur boxing with a piece titled:
"Boxing Back From Ropes", November 22, 1974
(Weir - Caird - Zelley" photo by Jim Ryan)
*Howard Curling appointed Island
Commissioner for Vancouver Island
by the BC boxing president of the BCABA.
*BC Junior Selects face British Schoolboy
boxers for North-west England
in two tournaments in Vancouver and Victoria.
The president of the British Columbia Amateur Boxing Association
*Chris Ius and Sid McKnight join the Canadian Olympic boxing team.
London Boxing Club to sponsor and promote amateur boxing.
* The Nanaimo Boxing Club hosts the first of many of it's
Bathtub Capital Golden Gloves events.
*the Nanaimo Daily Free Press" reporter Colin Gibson's
"Golden Gloves Tournament A Thumping Success"
- the Nanaimo show featured boxers from around BC
and the Pacific Northwest such as:
Chuck Robinson, Brett and Todd Summers,
Alex Bankier, Gordie Lawson, Alex Angelomatis, Barry Creswell, Ed McCaffrey,
John Hunter, Shane Anderson and juniors such as Don Preston and Mary Burton.
*1978 Bronze Gloves hosted by the Cloverdale Boxing Club.
Nanaimo boxers in action were Don Preston, Lyle Jack and
*Boxing in Victoria expands when Lou Bujdoso forms the
Victoria Jaycees Boxing Club.
* The Nanaimo Boxing Club hosts it's second Bathtub
Capital Golden Gloves tournament in Nanaimo.
*BC Winter Games held in Kamloops.
*1979 Silver Gloves held in Chilliwack March 23 and 24 '79.
*May '79 Second Bathtub Capital Golden Gloves held in
Nanaimo with a cross section of boxers from BC including
junior boxers Alan Brown , Gary Ivers, and Marty Burton.
*The BC Diamond Belt Championships are revived
and are hosted by the Victoria Jaycees Boxing Club.
*Rick Brough, the new Island Commissioner builds a
team to help amateur boxing grow and expand on
a Canadian championship in the Junior Nationals.
*In Golden Gloves action boxer Jamie Ollenberger becomes
the first BC star of the Eighties with his performance.
*To get beyond 1984, it is necessary to look at the quality
and quantity of the junior or intermediate boxers of 1980
to 1984 some of which would become top rated senior
open boxers from 1985 into the Nineties.
== 1984 Junior Golden Gloves ==
*As good a place to start as any would be the 1984
junior golden gloves and three names of interest
would be TONY DUFFY of the Sunshine Boxing Club,
MANNY SOBRAL of the Shamrock Boxing Club and
MIKE WOOD of the Campbell River Eagles Boxing Club,.
At the end of the competition it would the "Sunshine Kid"
TONY DUFFY that would earn the Golden Boy award.
*A month after that tournament for the best juniors,
some of them would participate in the Junior Nationals.
BC champions would be AARON WOLFE and WILLY CURRY.
FLASHBACK TO 1983
*It was the Silver Gloves tournament that would include
open junior boxers and some of the names of boxers
that would be an important part of the post 1984 period
Allan Bain (Spruce Capital Boxing Club, Prince George),
Alan Brown (Gold River Boxing Club, Gold River),
Tony Duffy (Sunshine Boxing Club)
Manny Sobral (Shamrock Boxing Club)
*in novice senior and intermediate boxing some
standouts would include:
Jason Trottier (Burnaby boxing club)
Hail King (Shamrock boxing club)
Both Jason and Hail would win convincing victories over
boxers from the Astoria boxing club.