Bernard Docusen

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World Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee

Name: Bernard Docusen
Alias: Big Duke
Birth Name: Joseph Bernard Docusen
Born: 1927-01-19
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Died: 2009-01-11 (Age:81)
Hometown: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 5′ 10½″   /   179cm
Boxing Record: click

Trainers: Whitey Esneault, Sammy Cherin
Managers: Whitey Esneault, Bonny Geigerman, Otis Guichet
Photo #2

Bernard Docusen, whose last name is pronounced "DUKE-essen" (sometimes mispronounced as "dock-essen" or "doe-kewson"), was born in New Orleans to a Filipino father and a Creole mother. He had started boxing at age 12, and when he was 14 he won the 1942 National AAU bantamweight title by decision vs. Eddie Dames. He left high school in his sophomore year to work with his father and brothers as a shrimp trawler, before turning his attention full-time to professional boxing. By March 30, 1949, he reportedly had fought 68 bouts in four years as a professional, with 67 wins. Docusen challenged Sugar Ray Robinson for the World Welterweight title in 1948. Docusen was competitive with Robinson, until he was knocked down in the 11th round. Robinson took control after the knockdown, and won going away.

Docusen married at age 17, and father of Patrica Ann (four-years-old in early 1949) and Jacqueline Anne (18 months). On March 29, 1949, New Orleans Judge Rene A. Vlosca ruled that Docusen and his older brother, Regino, were "half white" instead of "colored" (African-American). (Bernard and Regino were the elder brothers of Bantamweight and Featherweight contender Maxie Docusen.) The Docusens had been prevented from fighting in some states because they had been registered as "colored." The Docusens, according to surviving family, were actually of half-Caucasian and half-Filipino heritage.

Preceded by:
Ray Brown
National AAU Bantamweight Champion
Succeeded by:
Earl O'Neil