Joe Devlin was a Jamaica Plain native. He boxed in the Golden Gloves as a youth, and later in the Army during the Korean War. After his discharge, he entered a career as a corrections officer. While working as a C.O., he became a professional boxer under the tutelage of Bernie Doherty, his trainer. In the 1950s, Boston was still a boxing hotbed.
Devlin had 11 pro fights and was undefeated when on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 1958, he kayoed once beaten prospect Tony Veranis at sold-out Boston Garden. Devlin then went on to beat tough Canadian Champion Armand Savoie in a brutal ten rounds before 6,000 fans at the old Mechanics Hall in Boston. Devlin's nose was severely damaged during the fight. After that bout, he retired from the ring for two years before coming back in 1960 for two more victories and then finally hanging up the gloves.
After his ring career, Devlin became co-owner of the Triple D's Sports Bar and Restaurant in Jamaica Plain. During his career as a correction officer, Devlin and his wife Helen raised a family of nine and they now have 18 grandchildren.
- 1995: Elected to the Ring Four Boxing Hall of Fame
- 2005: Voted Man of the Year by the Ring Four Veterans Boxers Association