Name: Bert DeWitt
Birth Name: Bert DeWitt
Birthplace: Paterson, New Jersey, USA
Died: 2009-01-26 (Age:76)
Hometown: Paterson, New Jersey, USA
Height: 5′ 10″ / 178cm
Boxing Record: click
By Austin Killeen (IBRO):
- Bert got his introduction to boxing when a journeyman middleweight Joe "Cannonball" Reddick asked a 10 year old boy if he would like to go to the gym one day. He found himself in a strange new world at Tom Brown's Gym in Paterson, New Jersey. Although Bert's stay at Brown's Gym was a short one, his love of boxing would last a lifetime.
- The next few years Bert drifted away from the sport as he pursued other activities. Responding one day to a newspaper ad for boxers needed for the New Jersey Diamond Gloves Championships, he attended a local boxing show. Sitting in the audience he heard his name called over the loudspeaker. Reporting to the dressing rooms, he discovered that the promoters wanted him to fight that night. Having no equipment, Bert had to borrow his friend's sneakers and someone else's trunks. The promoter provided a mouthpiece for him. Although totally unprepared, he lost a close 3-round decision. As a result of his efforts that evening, he caught the attention of Whitey Plunkett, a successful trainer of local amateurs. Plunkett offered to train him if he wanted to participate in next year's tournament. Accepting Plunkett's offer, DeWitt returned the following year to win the 1950 New Jersey featherweight Diamond Gloves Championship.
- In 1951, Bert turned pro under the guidance of Plunkett, getting off the deck to score an exciting 4th round knockout over Gene Carpentier. Over the next six years Bert fought preliminary bouts around New Jersey and New York. The rangy DeWitt developed an excellent left jab and a willingness to mix it up if facing a brawler. Because of his skills as a boxer, Bert soon found himself in demand as a sparring partner for leading East Coast fighters. "Fitzie" Pruden, Carlos Ortiz, Vince Martinez, Georgie Sinclair and Stefan Redl were some of the big names who employed his services. In fact, his association with Redl developed into a 50-year friendship. Every year they travel to the Boxing Hall of Fame together, sharing their experiences in boxing with fans from all over the country.
- When asked about his career, Bert has no regrets. He's proud of his efforts and the friendships that formed as a result of these experiences. In 1997, Ring 34 in Vernon, NJ, honored Bert along with Chuck Wepner and Carlos Ortiz for their years of service to boxing. After retiring from boxing, Bert worked as a dockman for Consolidated Freightways for 30 years. Retired now he enjoys his grandchildren and talking boxing with follow enthusiasts of the sport.