How did IBHOF boxing writer and historian Gilbert Odd get started in the fight game? This article reveals all...

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How did IBHOF boxing writer and historian Gilbert Odd get started in the fight game? This article reveals all... Empty How did IBHOF boxing writer and historian Gilbert Odd get started in the fight game? This article reveals all...

Post by alexd on Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:49 pm

My Croydon mates

By Gilbert Odd

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 elected 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.


Running round the Southern Railway's sports track at Mitcham one evening, training for a coming quarter-mile, a young fellow asked me if he could join me. Company at such times is always welcome, but we did not talk until we were changing afterwards.

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.

"Can't it be covered?" I asked anxiously. He shook his head. "That's to sharpen up your footwork," he said, and there wasn't a glimmer of a smile on his sombre face.

He put me through my paces while the other boys gazed in awe. I tried, he persevered, but after several patient sessions, we both knew it was no use.

Continue reading:

http://blog.boxinghistory.org.uk/2011/10/my-croydon-mates.html

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How did IBHOF boxing writer and historian Gilbert Odd get started in the fight game? This article reveals all... Empty Re: How did IBHOF boxing writer and historian Gilbert Odd get started in the fight game? This article reveals all...

Post by Fists of Fury on Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:03 pm

Interesting stuff Alex, love how there were 3 fights arranged, including a 15 rounder, all in the space of a few days and against the same bloke! Imagine Floyd Mayweather Jr doing that, make things interesting wouldn't it!

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