CAPE BRETON BOXING HISTORY
December 19, 1903 – Butte, Montana - Cape Bretoner Jack Munroe, takes on World Heavyweight Champion James J. Jeffries in a 4-round exhibition match. August 26, 1904 – San Francisco – Cape Bretoner Jack Munroe is knocked out in the 2nd round in his bid for World Heavyweight Boxing Champion James J. Jeffries’s crown.
September 14, 1927 – Cape Breton Post – North Sydney champ gets revenge It took Jack McKenna, Canada’s Middleweight Champion just thirty seconds of the 4th round to rock his opponent with a snappy right to the jaw of John Alex McIntyre, former Glace Bay welterweight. Up to the final round of the bout there had been no doubt in the minds of the spectators as to the ultimate outcome. The North Sydney boy was too big, strong and hard punching for the former Glace Bay lad, taking a liberal dose of punishment. McIntyre’s backers and handlers would have showed good judgment had they tossed in the towel in the third round as McKenna had him practically at his mercy and showered him with punches from every angle. The Glace Bay boy however preferred to go out in ring glory and as a result went under from McKenna’s crashing and famous right hand punch. Just as the gong rang at the end of the second round McIntyre was knocked to his knees and in the third and start of the fourth was dropped for the count of two by the Bar Town lad.
September 11, 1930 – Sydney, Nova Scotia – Cape Breton Post –"Former Glace Bay man recognized as boxing authority Boston, Mass., Johnny Morris, formerly of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, who is now boxing instructor at Boston University and the Boston Athletic Association, has been placed on the approved list of boxing and hockey referees of Massachusetts. In the Great War, Morris was welterweight champion of the A.E.F., and is recognized as one of New England’s leading authorities on boxing."
August 14, 1948 – Moncton, New Brunswick – Moncton Times – Moncton’s Billy "The Kid" Landry captures the Maritime Light Heavyweight Boxing title at the Moncton Stadium, with a unanimous 10-round decision over Archie (Bear) Hannigan of New Waterford, Nova Scotia. They both weighed 170.
January 16, 1950 – Toronto - Fifield to Get Middleweight Title Bout Shot – Taking the promise of a Canadian title shot to heart, Toronto’s Billy Fifield, handlily defeated Joe Pyle of New Waterford, N.S. Fifield 160 ½ pounds, scored a clear-cut 10-round main event decision over the 155-pound Cape Breton Negro. Prior to the bout, promoter Frank Tunney announced that the victor would be in line for a title meetwith with George (Rockabye) Ross of West Bay Road, Nova Scotia, Canadian Champion. Plans for such a bout now will likely get final drafting.
May 4, 1953 – Glace Bay, N. S. – Yvon Durelle (The Fighting Fisherman), knocks out George (Rock-A-Bye) Ross in the 12th round to win the Canadian Professional Middleweight title. Yvon Durelle is the new Middleweight Champion of Canada.
September 9, 1953 – Sydney, N. S. – Canadian Middleweight Champion Yvon Durelle, Baie Ste. Anne, New Brunswick, wins Canadian Light Heavyweight, title with a 12-round decision over Gordon Wallace, Creighton Mines, Ontario. Yvon Durelle is new Light Heavyweight Champion of Canada.
June 16, 1959 – Halifax, Nova Scotia – Blair Richardson knocks out Nick Kovac in the 3rd round to win the Maritime Middleweight title.
October 25, 1959 –Quebec City, Canadian Bantamweight Title (Vacant) Johnny Devison, 117 ½, Glace Bay, Nova Scotia Vs Marcel Gendron, 114 ¾, Quebec City. Johnny Devison wins split decision. Johnny Devison is the new Bantamweight Champion of Canada. October 26, 1959, Cape Breton Post – Glace Bay – "For the first time since 1912 this community has a Canadian boxing championship, which was brought to his home town Friday by Johnny Devison, the new Canadian Bantamweight King. Not since Mickie McIntyre won the lightweight title in 1912 had a Canadian Championship been held by a Glace Bay native." The championship was vacated by the retirement of Pat Supple who has taken a position in business in Montreal. (Mickey MacIntyre is the same Mickey MacIntyre who fought World Lightweight Champion Battling Nelson to a 12-Round no-decision bout in Winnipeg July 12, 1912.)
October 28, 1960 –Sydney, Nova Scotia – Johnny Devison, Glace Bay, Nova Scotia defends his Canadian Bantamweight title against former champion Marcel Gendron, Quebec City. Gendron knocks out Devison in the 7th round to reclaim the title. Marcel Gendron is Bantamweight Champion of Canada, again.
September 29, 1962 – Glace Bay, Nova Scotia - Blair Richardson, Sydney, Nova Scotia, knocks out Wilf Greaves in the 8th round of their Canadian Middleweight title fight. Blair Richardson is the new Middleweight Champion of Canada.
May 4, 1963- Halifax, Nova Scotia – Canadian Middleweight Champion Blair Richardson successfully defends his title against Wilfie Greaves with a win on points, over 12 rounds. Blair Richardson is still Middleweight Champion of Canada.
August 2, 1963 – Glace Bay, Nova Scotia – Blair Richardson successfully defends his Canadian Middleweight title against Ron Brothers with a 4th round knockout. Blair Richardson is still Middleweight Champion of Canada.
October 26, 1963 – Sydney, Nova Scotia – Tyrone Gardner and Marcel Gendron square off for the vacant Canadian Lightweight title. Tyrone wins with a 4th Round kayo. Tyrone Gardiner is Lightweight Champion of Canada.
August 1, 1964 – Sydney, Nova Scotia – Sydney’s Tyrone Gardner Vs Fernand (The Bull) Chretien, Toronto, for the Canadian Lightweight Championship. Chretien has Gardner down four times, but fight is stopped when Chretien suffers cut eye. Tyrone Gardner is Canadian Lightweight Champion.
June 16, 1965 – Halifax, Nova Scotia – Don Chisholm meets Blair Richardson to decide the Canadian Middleweight title. Richardson knocks out Chisholm in the 3rd round to take the title. Blair Richardson of (South Bar) Sydney, (Cape Breton), Nova Scotia is still Middleweight Champion of Canada. September 25, 1965 – Glace Bay, Nova Scotia – Canadian Middleweight Champion Blair Richardson challenges Gomeo Brennan of the Bahamas, for the British Empire Middleweight title. Brennan knocks out Richardson in the 11th round. Gomeo Brennan of the Bahamas is Middleweight Champion of the British Empire. October 21, 1965 – Sydney, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia – Francis "Rocky" MacDougall, Sydney, is matched against Marcel Bellefueille, Montreal, for the vacant Canadian Featherweight title. (Dave Hilton (Sr.) is no longer able to make the weight limit to defend his title, so the two top contenders will decide the new champion. Rocky MacDougall wins with a 6-round TKO over Bellefueille. Francis "Rocky" MacDougall is the new Featherweight Champion of Canada.
March 26, 1966 – Glace Bay, Nova Scotia – British Empire Middleweight Champion Gomeo Brennan defends his title against Canadian Middleweight Champion Blair Richardson, Sydney, Nova Scotia. Richardson wins on points, over 12 rounds. Blair Richardson is the new Middleweight Champion of the British Empire.
JUNE, 1966 – SOUTH BAR, CAPE BRETON ISLAND, NOVA SCOTIA -CANADIAN MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION BLAIR RICHARDSON ANNOUNCES HIS RETIREMENT FROM BOXING. June 6, 1966 – Edmonton, Alberta – Edmonton’s Billy McGrandle squares off with Sydney, Nova Scotia’s Francis "Rocky" MacDougall to defend his Canadian Featherweight title. Billy McGrandle wins on points, over 12 rounds. Billy McGrandle is still Featherweight Champion of Canada.
August 2, 1966 – Edmonton, Alberta –Sydney’s Francis "Rocky" MacDougall, Sydney, Nova Scotia, defends his Canadian Featherweight title against Edmonton’s Billy McGrandle. Billy McGrandle wins on points over 12 rounds. Billy McGrandle is Featherweight Champion of Canada. September 2, 1966 – Sydney, Nova Scotia – Whitney "Willie" Williams, New Victoria, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, meets Ronnie Sampson, Sydney, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia to decide the Canadian Lightweight title. Sampson wins on points, over 10 rounds. Ronnie Sampson is the new Lightweight Champion of Canada.
March 20, 1967 – Edmonton, Alberta – Billy McGrandle, Edmonton meets Les Gillis, Sydney, Nova Scotia, to decide the Canadian Featherweight title. McGrandle wins with a 12th round kayo. Billy McGrandle is Featherweight Champion of Canada. September 22, 1967 – New Glasgow, Nova Scotia – Ronnie Sampson, 18-year-old Canadian Lightweight Boxing Champion scored a unanimous 10-round decision over Arnold Sparks of Montreal in a non-title fight before a crowd of 2000. Sampson, a rugged battler from Sydney River, Nova Scotia, weighed 145 ½, eight pounds more than his Montreal opponent.
October 14, 1967 – New Glasgow, Nova Scotia – Les Gillis meets Jo Jo Jackson to decide the Canadian Jr. Lightweight title. Gillis wins on points over 12 rounds. Les Gillis is Jr. Lightweight Champion of Canada.
November 4, 1967 – New Glasgow, Nova Scotia – Canadian Junior Lightweight Champion Les Gillis of New Waterford, Nova Scotia won the North American Junior Lightweight title with a 7th round knockout of Tibby Brown of New York in a scheduled 12-rounder. Les Gillis is the new Junior Lightweight Champion of North America.
September 17, 1969 – Sydney, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia – Francis "Rocky" MacDougall of Sydney, Nova Scotia meets former Canadian Bantamweight Champion Jackie Burke, St. John, New Brunswick to fight for the vacant Canadian Featherweight title. MacDougall wins by an 11th round knockout. Rocky MacDougall is the new Featherweight Champion of Canada, again.
September 26, 1970 – New Glasgow, Nova Scotia – Les Gillis meets Jo Jo Jackson for the 3rd and final tango in Nova Scotia, for the Canadian Jr. Lightweight title. Gillis manages to win again, over 12 rounds, on points. Les Gillis is still Jr. Lightweight Champion of Canada.
July 1, 1971 – Halifax, Nova Scotia – Francis "Rocky" MacDougall, Sydney, Nova Scotia, defends his Canadian Featherweight title against former Canadian Featherweight Champion Billy McGrandle of Edmonton. MacDougall wins on points, over 12 rounds. Rocky MacDougall is still Canadian Featherweight Champion of Canada.
September, 1971 - Sydney, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia – CANADIAN FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPION FRANCIS "ROCKY" MACDOUGALL ANNOUNCES HIS RETIREMENT.
May 26, 1979 – Glace Bay, Nova Scotia - Earl McLeay meets Trevor Berbick to decide the Canadian Heavyweight title. Berbick wins with a 7th round knockout. Trevor Berbick, formerly of Jamaica, is the new Heavyweight Champion of Canada.