Billy Walker (boxer)

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Billy Walker
Statistics
Real name William Walker
Rated at Heavyweight
Nationality England English
Born (1939-03-03) 3 March 1939 (age 75)
Stepney, London, England
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 31
Wins 21
Wins by KO 16
Losses 8
Draws 2

William (Billy) Walker (Stepney, London, 3 March 1939) is a retired British heavyweight boxer and actor. He was born in London in 1939 and turned professional in 1961 after 39 amateur bouts. His nickname was "Golden Boy". His professional record was 21 wins (16 by knockout), 8 losses and 2 draws. During 1967, he fought for both the British and European titles, losing to Henry Cooper (Great Britain) and Karl Mildenberger (West Germany) respectively. After he retired from the ring in 1969 he appeared in several British films and TV shows. His autobiography "When the Gloves Came Off" ISBN 978-1-86105-970-3 was published in 2007.

Early life and family[edit]

William Walker is the son of William James Walker, a brewery worker, drayman at Watneys brewery, and wife (Limehouse, April/June 1925) Ellen Louisa Page (Southwark, October/December 1903 - ?). He is the youngest of four brothers.

During World War II, his father served in the Royal Air Force and the boys lived with their mother in Bedfordshire, and later in Ilford, Essex. He left school at 16 and started working in the printing business. Later a friend introduced him to a more highly paid job as a porter in London's historic Billingsgate Fish Market. He was also a bouncer and part-time DJ at the Ilford Palais dance hall which was managed by Jimmy Savile at the time. He joined a West Ham boxing club to keep fit, and was eventually persuaded to spar with other members and found that he had the talent to box competitively.

Amateur career[edit]

Walker's older brother George had been a successful light heavyweight boxer and persuaded him to enter the sport, with the ambition eventually to turn professional. With his natural ability, and George's guidance, within three years he had won the British (ABA) Amateur Heavyweight title. Soon after a first round knockout of 6'4" (1.93m) American Cornelius Perry in an international tournament broadcast on national TV, promoters were competing to sign Walker to lucrative contracts. About this time the media started calling him "The Golden Boy" and "The Blond Bomber". Billy Walker had two other brothers, one named Ernest Walker, also a boxer, and Charlie.

Professional career[edit]

With brother George as his manager, Walker embarked on a professional career that in six years would see him challenging for both the British and European titles. With his curly blond hair, boyish good looks and all action style the public flocked to see his fights. George invested the purses in a string of night clubs and restaurants and soon the brothers were rich. Billy Walker moved to London's West End and mixed with society's elite. On one occasion he was presented to the Queen, who told him that she enjoyed watching his fights.[citation needed] This was during London's "swinging sixties" and Walker took full advantage of his wealth, fame and good looks to have fun[vague] with a series of beautiful women.[citation needed] Although he never fought in the USA, during his career he stopped rated American heavyweights Charlie Powell, Bowie Adams, Ray Patterson and Thad Spencer inside the distance. In spite of a few weeks' coaching at Harry's Gym in Harlem, Walker's defensive skills remained marginal, and some of his later fights against world class opponents had to be stopped owing to cuts and excessive bleeding from his nose. In 1969 at the age of 30 he retired from the ring, a very wealthy[vague] young man.[citation needed]

Business life[edit]

When Billy Walker retired from boxing, George Walker continued to run their business empire as though it were his alone. This soon led to disputes and eventually they parted company.[1] Billy Walker retained enough assets to live very comfortably, with various business interests of his own, including Billy's Baked Potato, a chain of fast food outlets.[1] Changing financial conditions a few years later forced him to look for other income. He moved to Jersey, a tax haven in the Channel Islands and became a successful property developer. George Walker went on to became a tycoon in the UK gambling and film industries with his Brent Walker Group but he too suffered a reversal of fortune, but later developing new business interests in Russia before dying of a heart attack in the South of France in March 2011.

He has been active on the speaking circuit and is an honorary steward for the British Boxing Board of Control. He recently[when?] collaborated with the Kray Twins' confidant and writer Robin McGibbon on his autobiography "When the Gloves Came Off", which was published in 2007.

Marriages and issue[edit]

In 1968, Billy Walker married Susan Coleopy and they had two children, Daniel and Clare. They divorced in 1977.

In September 1979 his girlfriend Chrissie gave birth to a son, Warren, but she opted to bring him up on her own. They are still on good terms.

He married Jackie in 1981. They also had two children, Kelly and Thomas (Tom), but divorced in the 1990s.

In 1997 he married Patricia but she died of cancer in 2003.

Walker is now married to his fourth wife, Susan, whom he had known from his time in Jersey about thirty years previously. They live in Essex.

Professional boxing record[edit]

21 Wins (16 knockouts, 3 decisions, 2 DQ), 8 Losses (5 knockouts, 2 decisions, 1 DQ), 2 Draws [2]
Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Loss 49-9 United Kingdom Jack Bodell TKO 8 25 Mar 1969 United Kingdom Empire Pool, Wembley, London Referee stopped the bout at 1:45 of the eighth round.
Win 32-7 United States Thad Spencer TKO 6 12 Nov 1968 United Kingdom Empire Pool, Wembley, London Referee stopped the bout at 2:04 of the sixth round.
Loss 35-13-1 United Kingdom Henry Cooper TKO 6 7 Nov 1967 United Kingdom Empire Pool, Wembley, London BBBofC/Commonwealth Heavyweight Titles.
Loss 50-3-3 Germany Karl Mildenberger TKO 8 21 Mar 1967 United Kingdom Empire Pool, Wembley, London EBU Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 1:43 of the eighth round.
Win 40-9-4 Italy Giulio Rinaldi DQ 1 13 Feb 1967 United Kingdom Belle Vue Zoological Gardens, Belle Vue, Manchester Rinaldi disqualified at 2:45 of the first round for headbutting.
Win 16-5-2 United States Ray Patterson TKO 8 6 Dec 1966 United Kingdom Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London
Win 19-9-2 Argentina Jose Menno TKO 10 25 Oct 1966 United Kingdom Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London
Win 18-5-2 Germany Horst Benedens TKO 1 20 Sep 1966 United Kingdom Empire Pool, Wembley, London Referee stopped the bout at 1:35 of the first round.
Win 17-2-1 United States Bowie Adams KO 3 2 May 1966 United Kingdom Belle Vue Zoological Gardens, Belle Vue, Manchester
Win 14-9-4 Sweden Lars Olaf Norling TKO 4 31 Mar 1966 United Kingdom London Hilton, Mayfair, London
Loss 10-2-5 Argentina Hector Eduardo Corletti TKO 8 19 Oct 1965 United Kingdom Empire Pool, Wembley, London
Draw 10-2-4 Argentina Hector Eduardo Corletti PTS 10 19 Aug 1965 Italy Ariston Theatre, Sanremo, Liguria
Loss 32-12 United Kingdom Brian London PTS 10 30 Mar 1965 United Kingdom Empire Pool, Wembley, London
Win 25-10-3 United States Chuck Powell KO 2 26 Jan 1965 United Kingdom London Olympia, Kensington, London
Win 45-7-1 Wales Joe Erskine PTS 10 27 Oct 1964 United Kingdom Empire Pool, Wembley, London
Win 20-4-1 United States Bill Nielsen KO 2 12 May 1964 United Kingdom Empire Pool, Wembley, London Nielsen knocked out at 1:30 of the second round.
Loss 19-4-1 United States Bill Nielsen TKO 8 10 Mar 1964 United Kingdom Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London
Win 41-24-2 Jamaica Joe Bygraves DQ 6 28 Jan 1964 United Kingdom London Olympia, Kensington, London
Loss 22-3-2 United Kingdom Johnny Prescott PTS 10 12 Nov 1963 United Kingdom Empire Pool, Wembley, London
Win 22-2-2 United States Johnny Prescott TKO 10 10 Sep 1963 United Kingdom Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London
Win 8-4-1 Germany Kurt Stroer TKO 2 24 Jun 1963 Wales Market Hall, Carmarthen
Win 20-22-4 Spain Jose Mariano Moracia Ibanes PTS 8 11 Jun 1963 United Kingdom Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London
Win 13-4-1 United States Joe DeGrazio KO 3 26 Mar 1963 United Kingdom Empire Pool, Wembley, London
Win 31-14-4 United Kingdom Peter Bates KO 2 29 Jan 1963 United Kingdom London Olympia, Kensington, London Bates knocked out at 2:30 of the second round.
Win 31-29-6 Spain José González Sales PTS 8 26 Nov 1962 United Kingdom Belle Vue Zoological Gardens, Belle Vue, Manchester
Loss 30-29-6 Spain José González Sales DQ 3 20 Nov 1962 United Kingdom Leicester, Leicestershire
Win 14-3 Canada Phonse LaSaga KO 1 13 Nov 1962 United Kingdom Empire Pool, Wembley, London LaSaga knocked out at 1:57 of the first round.
Win 3-3 Ghana Robert Archie Moore KO 2 6 Sep 1962 United Kingdom Liverpool Stadium, Liverpool, Merseyside
Win 12-25-6 Germany Erwin Hack TKO 1 14 Aug 1962 United Kingdom Blackpool, Lancashire
Draw 16-17-2 Spain Jose Mariano Moracia Ibanes PTS 8 22 May 1962 United Kingdom Empire Pool, Wembley, London
Win 14-11-1 Belgium Jose Peyre TKO 5 27 Mar 1962 United Kingdom Empire Pool, Wembley, London

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b [1]

External links[edit]