NEW CREDIT – When George Chuvalo was Canadian Heavyweight Champion of the world, he fought some of the biggest names in boxing, including Muhammad Ali, whom he fought twice, Floyd Patterson, Joe Frazier, Jerry Quarry, George Foreman, Ernie Terrell, and Jimmy Ellis.
Although he lost those bouts, except for Quarry whom he defeated, Chuvalo earned the praise of the best of the best during the heyday of the heavyweights.
His bout against Patterson in 1965 was a very close decision which Ring Magazine declared the fight of the year. Following the fight, Patterson recalled that it was “the toughest fight of my career.”
Chuvalo also went the distance in both battles against the legendary Mohammed Ali when Ali was in his prime. Years later Ali told reporters, “He’s the toughest guy I ever fought.”
Ali’s cornerman, the equally legendary Angelo Dundee said of Chuvalo, “He never stopped coming on… you’ve got to admire a man like that.”
After the rematch of 1972, it was widely reported that Ali spent time in the hospital recovering from bruised ribs and kidneys while Chuvalo went dancing with his wife.
Chuvalo was never knocked down, even against the power of Forman and Fraizer although he lost to both in TKO’s.
He reigned as Canadian Heavyweight Champion from 1958 to 1979, an incredible 21 years.
Chuvalo was the number one contender for the British Empire heavyweight title for many years but champion Henry Cooper refused to fight him.
During his long and storied career, Chuvalo recorded 64 knockouts in 93 professional fights.
But as tough as he was, nothing he faced in the ring would hit him as hard as life itself, out of the ring.
Chuvalo lost three sons, Jesse Chuvalo in 1985 to suicide, Georgie Lee Chuvalo in 1993 and Steven Louis Chuvalo in 1996, both to drug overdoses. If that wasn’t enough, he also lost his first wife to suicide after his second son died.
But Chuvalo got up off the canvas and has since remarried and is a stepfather to two children. He and his second wife now tour high schools and community halls speaking about the devastation of drug use to teens.
Hear arguably the toughest boxer ever to enter a ring tell his own story Wednesday, March 11, at the New Credit Community Hall beginning at 5 pm. There will be a light supper provided and admission is free.
To register, call Kari Sault at the New Credit Mental Health Program, at 905-768-1181.