Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Boxing History: On This Day: Jack Bodell Remembered

By Peter Silkov 

Jack Bodell was a tough and strong heavyweight fighter, with an unorthodox brawling style which, along with his southpaw stance, made him a difficult opponent for just about anyone. Bodell had a lot of heart, and despite being labelled by some as ‘weak chinned,’ most of his inside the distance defeats were caused by stoppages due to cuts.

Bodell was born on August 11, 1940, in Swadlincote, Derbyshire. As an amateur, he won the ABA light-heavyweight championship in 1961, before turning professional in 1962.

During his career, Bodell fought an array of top heavyweight names, including, Joe Erskine, Hubert Hilton, Billy Daniels, Thad Spencer, Ray Patterson, Henry Cooper, Johnny Prescott, Brian London, Billy Walker, Jack O’Halloran, Manuel Ramos, Jery Quarry, Joe Bugner, Jose Manuel Urtain, and Danny McAlinden.

Bodell challenged Henry Cooper for the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles on June 13, 1967, but was stopped in the 2nd round. Following this defeat, Bodell had an eleven fight winning streak, and then on October 13, 1969, he won the vacant British heavyweight championship, by out-pointing Carl Gizzi over 15 rounds.

Five months after beating Gizzi, Bodell defended his British title against Henry Cooper and was beaten on points. Cooper also defended his Commonwealth title in this fight.

On September 27, 1971, Bodell scored the best victory of his career when he out-pointed Joe Bugner over 15 rounds, to win the British, European and Commonwealth heavyweight titles. Bodell’s non-stop brawling style and aggression had just been too much for Bugner. However, this victory was followed by three defeats for Bodell. On November 16, 1971, he was knocked out in the 1st round by Jerry Quarry. Just once month later Bodell defended his
European heavyweight title, and was stopped in the 2nd round by Jose Manuel Urtain. Six months later on June 27, 1972, Bodell lost his British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles, when he was knocked out in the 2nd round by Danny McAlinden. This was Bodell’s final fight, and he retired with a final record of (58-13, 31koes).
After retirement, Bodell would open the Tile Hill chip shop in Conventry during the 80s. Upon opening it, he invited Muhammad Ali to come down and visit, and Ali accepted the invitation. He was met with a warm greeting. Unfortunately, Bodell would fight a long battle with dementia and died on November 9, 2016, at the age of 76 years old.

Jack Bodell Vs. Joe Bugner

Follow us on Twitter: @TheBoxingGlove and  

If you are an boxer, amateur or professional, and want us to follow you or tell your story, contact   or

If you are an author and you would like your book reviewed, contact Peter Silkov at or

No comments:

Post a Comment