The unique superstar boxer – Boxing Information

The case of Edwin John proves that the phenomenon of the superstar boxer is nothing new, writes Mile Templeton

THERE appears to be a pattern nowadays in the direction of the superstar boxer. With the rise of the YouTube star, backed up by some TV and media personalities additionally trying to break into the skilled recreation, most would suppose that it is a trendy phenomenon. There have been related circumstances all through boxing historical past, nonetheless, and Edwin John is one in every of them.

Edwin John was all the time billed from Chelsea, and he was a really promising middleweight again within the early Nineteen Thirties. Chelsea had, for a few years, been the stamping floor for London’s Bohemian elite and John’s father [pictured above right with Edwin centre] was a number one determine on this free-thinking, inventive and unconventional motion. He was additionally probably the most well-known, and highest-paid, painter of his day and he repeatedly transported Edwin and his siblings across the countryside dressed as a gypsies, and in a conventional caravan. It’s no marvel then, that when Edwin matured he could be drawn to a equally unorthodox calling. He selected boxing, and it significantly irritated his father, who wished him to go to artwork faculty.

Because the son of such a well known public determine, Edwin’s boxing profession attracted press curiosity proper from the beginning. His coach was Johnny Thomas of Clerkenwell, a seasoned ex-pro of greater than 150 contests, who knew the sport inside out, and Johnny turned the uncooked novice into a really promising fighter very quickly in any respect. Unsurprisingly, John made his debut at Paris, the centre of Bohemianism, in February 1931 and he boxed a draw towards an area lad in a six-rounder. When he returned to the UK he teamed up with Thomas and 6 months later, after a crash course within the finer factors of the artwork, he was able to make his British debut. He made his base at Croydon, and he fought most of his early contests there.

His opponent for contest quantity two was Ted Giles, a Croydon exhausting man. Giles was veteran of greater than 30 contests, most of them over 12 and 15 rounds, and he was a top-of-the-bill performer in London’s lesser-known small halls, however younger Edwin stopped him in eight. The next month John repeated the feat, this time over 15 rounds, and he was quickly boxing on the main venues, together with the Blackfriars Ring and the Royal Albert Corridor. He outpointed the seasoned Australian, Leo Wax, on the Ring, after which boxed a 12-round draw towards the Japanese Counties champion, Seaman Harvey. Though his father hated his involvement within the sport, he did attend a few of Edwin’s contests to help him. By 1932 Edwin was beginning to appear like he could be a risk at championship stage and after knocking out Hartlepool’s Jack Strongbow in 4 rounds on the Royal Albert Corridor, he then fought two males on the pinnacle of the British middleweight division.

The primary of those was Jack Hyams of Stepney, an excellent expertise and the BN report for his or her contest, over 15 rounds on the Royal Albert Corridor, said that, “Hyams has had way more expertise, in English and American rings, and his additional data enabled him to beat the straighter hitting of the artist-boxer. John has an exquisite left hand however doesn’t use his proper accurately or know how one can get out of awkward conditions. He battled away determinedly sufficient however Hyams was simply that a lot too good for him.” Hyams later turned Southern Space champion at each center and light-heavy and he boxed for the British middleweight title in 1937.

John then had the braveness to climb into the ring with the formidable Jock McAvoy. This proved to be his final contest and it was an disagreeable expertise all through, with the Rochdale tearaway selecting him aside earlier than referee Jimmy Wilde stepped in after six rounds.

After 18 contests, of which he solely misplaced 4, Edwin John settled right down to a extra appropriate calling, he swapped one canvas for an additional and have become a famous water-colourist. He died in 1978, aged 73.

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