Harry Wiley

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Trained Sugar Ray Robinson

Harry Wiley Boxing Trainer…”WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR” Dad [1]

Harry Wiley Sr. got into boxing as an amateur fighter in 1919 and got his start in the Harlem section of New York City in places like the local YMCA, the Boys Welfare Association and different gyms. He also picked up all he could when starting out by working as a waterboy for World Heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey and by taking lessons on the side. His boxing career was cut short after the ice truck he was behind was struck by a taxi cab and the wheel ran over his leg which resulted in a broken leg and Wiley's father refused to let him fight after the injury. Wiley then went into his career as a boxing trainer building up the Salem Crescent AC and did so well he was named the New York coach for the National AAU championships and was the first trainer ever to have a national champion in all weight classes in the amateurs. He was so impressive he was named to be the coach for the United States Olympic boxing team in Los Angles in 1932. He worked with men like Mart Hough, Buddy Moore,Tom Chester, Richard Carter who won 6 amateur titles in a single year and Lou Salica who was an outstanding amateur winning the 1932 National AAU Flyweight Championship and and a Bronze Medal in the 1932 Olympics among other amateur titles and would later win the World Bantamweight title. The AAU picked Wiley year after year as coach for the National and Junior National championships in Boston as well as the Golden Gloves. In 1934, Wiley organized the Montclair YMCA in New Jersey under J.N. Williams. In 1941 Wiley along with Adrian De Costa hand in hand got the Abyssinian Church Boys Club their AAU license and Wiley was appointed as delegate and representative to the club by future Congressman, Adam Clayton Powell. During that time Wiley worked with and trained a fighter by the name of Tommy Hogan who he co-managed with Bill Robinson. Wiley also played matchmaker for the Golden Gate Arena, Rockland Palace in Harlem and promoted fights for the Royal Air Force in England and helped with Joe Louis' exhibitions during World War 2. Wiley was a Sergeant at the time and helped with a lot of the boxing events during his time in the service from staging bouts to building the rings. One who was extremely impressed with Wiley's efforts was General Eisenhower and Wiley won commendation from him for his work in the European Theater of Operations. Wiley also owned several bars in his time including the Golden Gloves Bar and Grill on 7th avenue. He also owned his own gym which was a hot spot for fighters some that trained there were Archie Moore, Gil Turner, Mauro Mina, Rocky Castellani, Tony Anthony, Doug Jones and many more. Wiley trained Sylvester Jones when he beat the undefeated Cleveland Williams. Wiley also trained and worked with such fighters as Henry Armstrong, Lou Ambers, Canada Lee, Baby Joe Gans, and Muhammad Ali in a couple of his bouts. Wiley's best body of work was in Sugar Ray Robinson. Wiley was the one who introduced Ray's first manager, Curt Horrmann, to Robinson. Wiley trained Robinson from his amateur days and all through his professional career. Wiley was the one working with Ray in the gyms and teaching him every trick he had learned and molded Robinson into the fighter he would become. Robinson was an outstanding amateur boxer himself. Robinson in his pro career would win the World Welterweight title and also won the World Middleweight title 5 times and is considered to be the greatest fighter pound for pound by many experts.