Stephen H. "Suey" Welch (Born 1898 or 1899) was an Akron, Ohio-based manager who handled boxers from the 1920s through the 1970s. He specialized in bringing fighters from Ohio to Southern California, where many of them went on to become main event fighters. Most notably, he managed Middleweight Champion Gorilla Jones. One of the last fighters he brought to Southern California in the 1970s was "Irish" Gil King of Akron.
Work at the Olympic Auditorium
Suey Welch was named the matchmaker at the Olympic Auditorium on March 16, 1937, after previous matchmaker Joe Waterman was fired (Waterman's claim) or resigned (Olympic's claim) from his position. Welch made his debut on March 23, 1937 with a main event between Baby Arizmendi and Wally Hally. In January 1938, Welch was made the superivsor of all of Olympic manager Harry Popkin's boxing operations in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Waterman was then reinstated as matchmaker at the Olympic, though Welch would still assist him in making matches.. Welch left his position at the Olympic in April 1939, amidst allegations that Lou and Jack Daro managers of the Olympic and powerful figures in the wrestling game, were paying sportswriters and local politicians. Welch was subsequently cited for tax evasion by the State of California in 1937 and 1938, during which time he was paid $19,000, while claiming a salary of $100 per week. The state also investigated claims of fixed boxing matches, which included the Chuck Crowell and Al (Big Boy) Bray bout.
Welch, a bachelor, died January 16, 1974, in Long Beach, California, after a series of heart attacks.
Other boxers in his stable included:
- Andy Bundy (1934, while in Los Angeles}
- K.O. Christner
- Charley (Killer) Coates
- Art Hafey
- Hank Hankinson
- Tommy Hart
- Gus Lesnevich (1936, while boxing in Los Angeles)
- Al Manfredo (1935-37)
- Emilio Martinez (1936, after drawing with John Henry Lewis
- Sammy O'Dell
- Billy Peacock
- Charley Powell
- Kirby Seals
- Welch's brother Chang Welch handled his stable after he became the matchmaker at the Olympic Audtiorium.
- Inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame, "Expanded Category" (Managers & Trainers)
- Welch puportedly got his name of Suey, while catching rides on a Chinese laundryman's truck as a kid.
Sources and References
- "Business Booming in Welch's War College", Los Angeles Times, August 4, 1935
- ^ "Suey Welch Gets Job", Los Angeles Times, March 17, 1937
- ^ "Joe Waterman Installed as Matchmaker at Olymic", Los Angeles Times, January 18, 1938
- ^ "Flow of Gold in Wrestling Disclosed", Los Angeles Times, April 21, 1939
- ^ "Two Members Asked to Quit Athletic Board", Los Angeles Times, June 20, 1939
- ^ "Boxing's Suey Welch, 75, Dies", Los Angeles Times, January 17, 1975