Eddie Tait

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Boxer & Promoter

Edwin E. Tait--along with his brother Stewart Tait ("Little Eddie), Joe Waterman, and Frank Churchill--was an important figure in the development of the early Filipino boxing scene. All, incidentally, had come from Tacoma, Washington, USA. (Eddie had been a former boxer himself.)

A December 10, 1926 article in the Tacoma News Tribune (TNT), entitled "Tacoma Connected With Orient Ring," describes these men's connection with the rise and success of early Filipino boxing:

In 1902, Eddie Duarte, a native Filipino, arrived in Tacoma as a mess boy on the old transport Burnside, had a few fights in the city, and became popular. He then went to California, where he had a few more fights, then returned home to the Philippines where he was met by Little Eddie (Stewart), and "put into action, proving a riot."

Stewart had been a long-time Tacoma resident, and the builder of Tait's Pavilion at American Lake, WA, USA--which later became the Olympic Club, where roller-skating was featured. Eddie and Stewart were associates and partners of Churchill at Tacoma, and in the Philippines. In 1909 the Olympic Club of Manila was born--with Churchill as President, John Noon as Secretary, and Eddie Tait as Matchmaker. A number of soon-to-be-popular boxers were developed at this club--including Sailor Charlie Grande, Billy Walters, Soldier Kearns, Frank Logan, Louie Albert, Charlie Pitts, and native Filipinos Battling Sanchez, Francisco Flores, Paul Gyn, Silvino Jamito, and Dencio Cabanela.

With boxing gaining in popularity among the Filipino population, Churchill, the Taits and some others decided to construct an up-to-date stadium on Avenida Rizal in 1917. It was inaugurated in late 1918 with a fight featuring Australia's Llew Edwards. The Stadium began to conduct weekly boxing shows under the management of Churchill and Eddie Tait. From then on the Filipino boxing scene exploded in popularity.

According to the June 10, 1943 TNT, Eddie and Stewart also once operated five carnivals out of Manila, were wild animal exporters, ran a movie production company, and were race course officials in Manila. Eddie Tait at some point also purchased a circus in Los Angeles, CA.

External Link

Origins of Philippine Boxing