Percy Cove

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Percy Cove

Name: Percy Cove
Alias: The Human Bed Slat
Birth Name: Percy Chamberlain
Born: 1885-01-01
Birthplace: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Died: 1916-09-30 (Age:31)
Hometown: Everett, Washington, USA
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 5′ 11″   /   180cm
Boxing Record: click

Trainer: Curley Smith
Managers: Charles Simmons & Jack Sullivan
Photo #2

Percy Cove was known as the "Human Slat" or the "Human Bed Slat" because of his tall, slim physique. [1] (Based upon the bed-slat: the long, slim pieces of wood supporting the mattress upon the bed-frame.) His exact date of birth is unknown. The Oct. 13, 1911 Tacoma Daily News (TDN) confirmed that Curley Smith was his trainer at the time.

By late 1906 he was looking for bouts in the San Francisco area. [2] He left town the following April. [3]

Cove's first "important" bout reportedly (seven years after the fact) was June 7, 1907, with Jack Britton, but that bout cannot presently be documented. [4]

Although a Canadian, Cove's boxing hometown originally was Everett, Washington, USA. By 1911 Cove was the boxing and wrestling instructor in Bellingham, WA. [5]

According to the Oct. 24, 1913 Tacoma Daily News, Cove had fought 138 bouts by then. The December 17, 1914 TDN reported that his recent KO loss to Leo Crevier was his first non-technical KO loss in 173 career bouts.

The TDN of Feb. 13, 1915 reported that Percy Cove had gone to Vancouver, B.C., to join the Canadian military for what became known as the Great War, and later as World War I. The TDN joked: "One good thing in Percy's favor is that he is too thin to be hit by hostile bullets." Only then did the newspaper reporter feel at liberty to divulge Cove/Chamberlain's true name & history. He had been born 30 years previous into a prominent eastern Canadian family. Because his family did not approve of him boxing, he took on the name of Cove. He had boxed professionally for 12 years and had fought 186 bouts, losing four decisions, and suffering one KO loss (to Leo Crevier).

The Dec. 16, 1915 TDN reported Percy had attended St. Patrick's school in Ottawa, Canada. And that he had taken up boxing at the O.A.A.C., where he won the club's bantamweight title.

In early 1916, Cove wrote a letter to deny reports that he had been shot by German bullets: "I am still on the globe," he writes, "but there is no telling how long it will be. However, they don't get us all, and I may be one of the lucky ones." [6][7].

A few months later, according to the Calgary Herald of Oct 2, 1916, Percy Cove had been found dead at Somme, France, with 46 bullets in his riddled frame. Obituary

See also