How to Be a Champion When Your Boxing Days Are Over
For all of you boxing fans and boxing memorabilia buffs out there, here’s some information on Canada’s arguably greatest world champion boxer.
George Chuvalo was born of Croatian immigrant parents in Toronto, Ontario September 12/1937 By 1958 he was young, tough and considered the hottest prospect in Canadian boxing because of his punching power and ability to absorb punishment, George told reporters that he loved the thrill of combat especially when he won.
During his professional career George had 93 bouts winning 73 of them (64 by TKO) 18 losses and 2 draws. What is remarkable about his fights is that he was never, ever knocked down. As a pro, Chuvalo is best known for his two fights against Muhammad Ali. Although he completed the required 15 rounds in the first bout, he lost by a wide margin on the scorecards.
The first fight, on March 29, 1966 was classified as a heavyweight showdown rather than a championship fight for the title because of boxing politics.George Chuvalo lost to Ali but Ali called George the toughest guy he ever fought.. George boxed with Ali a second time in 1972. The fight lasted twelve rounds, with Ali winning an easy decision. It was the last major fight of Chuvalo’s career.
Future world champions George Foreman, generally regarded as the hardest hitter in boxing history, and Joe Frazier another heavy duty puncher, were unable to knock Chuvalo down, They did, however, manage to score victories with technical knock outs (TKOs).
Chuvalo’s biggest victories came at the expense of contender Jerry Quarry on December 12, 1969, and an eleventh-round knockout of contender Doug Jones on October 2, 1964.
For his efforts in the ring,George Chuvalo has been honoured by his country. He was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1990 and was made a Member of The Order of Canada in 1998. He was also elected to the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1997.
For all of his successes in the boxing world, his personal life has been filled with heartache and pain. He and his first wife had five children. Unfortunately three of his sons became involved in the drug culture and paid the price with their lives. His wife was unable to cope after the loss of their first two sons and committed suicide.
In 1995 he married his second wife, a nurse with two children. She seems to have brought some peace and normalcy into his life. He lives simply today in an apartment in Toronto.
George has turned his personal tragedies into a message of hope. In what could be said to be his finest hour, he spends much of his life touring the country and bringing his message to the youth of today that no matter how glamourous the drug culture appears from the outside, on the inside it is more likely to be filled with pain and death. . And who can bring the message to them more poignantly than Canada’s hero, George Chuvalo. A hero who has experienced the highs and the lows.