George Chuvalo

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World Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee

Name: George Chuvalo
Born: 1937-09-12
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 6′ 0″   /   183cm
Boxing Record: click

Manager: Irving Ungerman
Trainer: Teddy McWhorter
Cut Men: Whitey Bimstein & Freddie Brown and Johnny Sullo George Chuvalo Gallery

George Chuvalo, born to Croatian parents in Toronto's tough Junction area, became the Canadian amateur heavyweight champion in 1955, winning the "Jack Dempsey Novice Heavyweight Tournament" by stopping four opponents in a total of five rounds. He turned professional at 19, winning the Canadian heavyweight championship in 1958 when he defeated veteran James J. Parker in less than a round. Among the better-known of his vanquished opponents were Doug Jones, Dante Cane, Jerry Quarry and Yvon Durelle, the 'Fighting Fisherman' who nearly snatched the light-heavyweight crown from the head of the legendary Archie Moore. He lost the title to Bob Cleroux on a hotly disputed split decision in the latter's hometown in 1960, regained it just 3 months later, then lost it to Cleroux again in Montreal on a split decision the following year. He regained the title by knocking out Hugh Mercier in 1 round at Regina, Saskatchewan in 1964. This time he held the title for 15 years before giving it up in 1979. Chuvalo was often belittled by the know-nothing sportswriters in his hometown, but international boxing experts rated him highly.

Chuvalo is remembered internationally for his remarkable courage and fighting spirit, his unbelievable stamina and iron chin, and his underrated defensive ability to stay with the world's highest-ranked boxers, none of whom ever knocked him off his feet. His opponents included George Foreman, Cleveland Williams, Doug Jones,Ernie Terrell, Floyd Patterson, Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali. One of his most memorable victories was his knockout in December 1969 of top contender Jerry Quarry. George never got a shot at the British Empire title though he was generally considered the number one contender and was usually ranked internationally above the reigning Empire champions. When asked by Chuvalo's manager if he would ever meet Henry Cooper in the ring for the title, Cooper's manager said,"Not on, old boy. Henry won't even meet him socially." Chuvalo finished with a lifetime professional record of 73-18-2; 64 of his 73 victories were by knockout. Chuvalo's accomplishments were finally recognized when he was belatedly inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.

He lost two sons to drug overdoses, another son to suicide, and his wife to suicide after that. Currently (2011) he tours, giving lectures against drugs, and actively participates in charity work, for which he was made a member of the Order of Canada in 1998. Chuvalo was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1997, and, at some time, into the Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame.

External Links

  • IMDb movie credits: [1]
  • November 2008 interview: [2]
  • May 2011 Times&Transcript article: [3]