Tunney Hunsaker

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Name: Tunney Hunsaker
Birth Name: Tunney Morgan Hunsaker
Born: 1930-02-17
Birthplace: Princeton, Kentucky, USA
Died: 2005-04-25 (Age:75)
Hometown: Fayetteville, West Virginia, USA
Boxing Record: click


Tunney Hunsaker is best known for being the first professional opponent of Muhammad Ali, whom he fought on October 29, 1960. Hunsaker, who had both his eyes swollen shut, lost the fight by a six-round unanimous decision. After the fight, Hunsaker said, "Clay was as fast as lightning... I tried every trick I knew to throw him off balance, but he was just too good." Ali and Hunsaker later became good friends.

Hunsaker was born in Princeton, Kentucky and named after former World Heavyweight Champion Gene Tunney. He started boxing while he was in the U.S. Air Force and won a Golden Gloves title while stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

Besides Ali, he fought such notable boxers as Ernie Terrell, Tom McNeeley, and Alejandro Lavorante. In his final fight, he was knocked out by Joe "Shotgun" Sheldon in ten rounds on April 6, 1962. He was in a coma for nine days and required two brain operations. Hunsaker's pro record was 17-15-1 with 8 knockouts.

Hunsaker was also a Sunday School teacher and a police officer. He became the police chief of Fayetteville, West Virginia at the age of 27 and held the job for 38 years. He was the youngest police chief in the history of West Virginia. Hunsaker was inducted into the Law Enforcement Hall of Fame and had a bridge named after him.

Hunsaker passed away April 25, 2005 at the age of 75 from Alzheimer's disease at an extended care facility in Fayetteville, West Virgina.

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