Sunday, February 21, 2016

Boxing History: Harry 'Kid' Matthews

Remembering....Harry 'Kid' Matthews

Harry Matthews
Harry Matthews was a talented fighter with good boxing skills, who during his professional career, fought from lightweight to heavyweight.  Born on December 9, 1922, in Emmett, Idaho, and turned professional in 1937.  By 1940, Matthews was a full-fledged middleweight. In 1942, a victory and a draw against former World middleweight champion, Al Hostak, put Matthews into the rankings, but defeats to Jack Chase, and Eddie Booker dented his progress. Matthews then joined the US army, and did not fight again until 1946.

Rocky Marciano Vs. Harry Matthews
On his return to the ring, Matthews was winning fights yet, finding it hard to progress up the rankings or earn good money, until wily manager, Jack Hurley, took him on in 1949.  Hurley changed Matthews’ style, from a safety first boxer, to a more aggressive fighter, and the victories started coming in quicker, and Matthews became an attraction.  Matthews put together a long winning run, which saw him climb up the rankings, as he moved up to light-heavyweight and then, heavyweight.  A victory over Rex Layne on May 19, 1952 put Matthews on the edge of a shot at the World heavyweight title, but a 2nd round knockout defeat two months later to Rocky Marciano took him out of the title picture.

Don Cockell & Harry Matthews
Matthews put together some more wins, but his hopes of a world title shot were ended for good when he suffered 3 defeats to England’s Don Cockell. He was out-pointed twice and then stopped in their third meeting. 

Matthews won his final 4 fights, including a 10 rounds victory over former World heavyweight champion, Ezzard Charles.  Matthews’ last fight was a 10-rounds point’s win over Alvin Williams, on November 9, 1956.  His final record was 90(61koes)-7-6.

Harry Matthews died on February 21, 2003, at 80 years old. 

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