George Chuvalo

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George Chuvalo
Statistics
Real name Jure Čuvalo
Rated at Heavyweight
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83m)
Reach 71 in (180cm)
Nationality Canadian
Born (1937-09-12) September 12, 1937 (age 76)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 93
Wins 73
Wins by KO 64
Losses 18
Draws 2
No contests 0


George Chuvalo, CM (born September 12, 1937) is a retired professional heavyweight boxer. Chuvalo fought in a golden era of heavyweight boxing, during the 1960s and 1970s. He was known for his solid chin, and for the fact that he was never knocked down, or knocked out in his entire career. Chuvalo is considered to have one of the toughest chins of all time, and was not even knocked down by big-hitters such as Joe Frazier and George Foreman. Although he never won a world title, he did challenge twice for a world title against Ernie Terrell and Muhammad Ali.

Chuvalo holds notable wins over top fighters such as Yvon Durelle, Doug Jones, Jerry Quarry and Cleveland Williams. Aside from the world stage, Chuvalo was a four-time Canadian heavyweight champion, with a record of 10-2 (8 KO's).

Early life and career[edit]

Born in Ontario to Croatian parents from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Stipan and Katica (born Kordić) Čuvalo, father from Proboj and mother from Grljevići near Ljubuški. Chuvalo grew up in The Junction district of west Toronto, and had one sibling, Zora. Chuvalo attended St. Michael's College School between 1950 and 1953 following which he attended Humberside Collegiate Institute and became one of the best-known amateur boxers in Toronto, fighting out of the Earlscourt Athletic Club.

Chuvalo became Canadian amateur heavyweight champion in May 1955, defeating Winnipeg's Peter Piper with a first-round KO in a tournament final in Regina, Saskatchewan. Chuvalo finished his amateur career with a 16-0-0 record, all by KO within four rounds. Nicknamed "Boom Boom", Chuvalo turned professional in 1956, knocking out four opponents in one night to win a heavyweight tournament held by former world's champion Jack Dempsey at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto on April 26, 1956.[1] Rocky Marciano was one of his trainers in his early career.

Versus Patterson[edit]

Chuvalo lost a close decision to former champion Floyd Patterson in a bout that The Ring named fight of the year for 1965. Patterson described it as one of the toughest contests of his career.[citation needed]

Two Ali fights[edit]

Chuvalo is best known for his two fights against Muhammad Ali. He went the distance both times, in each case losing the decision by a wide margin on the scorecards. The first fight, on March 29, 1966, was for Ali's world title. "He's the toughest guy I ever fought", said Ali of Chuvalo after the fight.[2] Ali's cornerman, Angelo Dundee, said, "He never stopped coming on ... you've got to admire a man like that." Various articles over the years detail that Ali had painful ribs for weeks after the contest. The second Ali fight was in 1972. Ali—then between his world championship reigns—won an easy decision. It was the last major fight of Chuvalo's career.

Other career highlights[edit]

Future world champions Joe Frazier and George Foreman, despite being big punchers, were unable to knock Chuvalo down, but they were the only two fighters to ever stop him, scoring technical knockout (TKO) victories. Ring Mag reported Frazier nearly closed both Chuvalo's eyes and also cracked one of the man's cheek bones.

Foreman, regarded as one of the hardest hitters in boxing history, mauled Chuvalo with a wicked jab and some truly thunderous big punches breaking Chuvalo's nose. Yet, in his typical display of toughness, when the referee stopped the fight in the third round, Chuvalo said to him, "What are you, nuts?".

One of Chuvalo's biggest victories was a seventh-round knockout of contender Jerry Quarry on December 12, 1969. Afterwards Quarry complained of a fast count but Chuvalo responded 'It must have been a good punch'.

He lost to WBA heavyweight champion Ernie Terrell in 1965 and to former WBA champion Jimmy Ellis in 1971, with both of those fights taking place at Maple Leaf Gardens.

He got an eleventh-round knockout against contender Doug Jones on October 2, 1964 notably using the boxing technique 'kill the body and the head dies' . Chuvalo also defeated notable fighters such as Howard King, Canadian champion Bob Cleroux, Yvon Durelle, Willi Besmanoff, big hitting Mike DeJohn, Cleveland Williams, and Manuel Ramos.

Chuvalo was the number one contender for the British Empire heavyweight title for many years but champion Henry Cooper did not fight him.

Personal life[edit]

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. He lost his wife to suicide after the second son died. His remaining son, Mitch, became a teacher at Western Technical Commercial School and University of Toronto Schools and married his wife from El Salvador, Ivania, with whom he is raising two boys, Aaron and Elijah. His daughter, Vanessa, has two girls named, Adelayde and Michaella and a step son named Jirel. His granddaughter, Rachel Chuvalo, passed away in February 2013 after a battle with cancer.

George is married to his second wife, Joanne Chuvalo, and is stepfather to her two children, Jesse and Ruby. George and his wife tour high schools speaking about the devastation of drug use to teens. They have a summer home in Midland, Ontario.

Tributes and other appearances[edit]

Chuvalo was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1990 and the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1997. He was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1998 and was awarded a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in 2005.

Former Ottawa Senators goalie Ray Emery has a picture of Chuvalo painted on his goalie mask.

Chuvalo appeared as the ill-fated arm-wrestler in the 1986 re-make of The Fly.

To mark the 40th anniversary of his July 19, 1967 fight against Joe Frazier, he and Frazier held a gala in Toronto, raising money for different charities.

On August 14, 2008, Chuvalo's kitchen was the featured renovation project on the Canadian TV series Holmes on Homes in an episode titled "Kitchen Knockout." [3]

Chuvalo was featured as part of the 2009 documentary film Facing Ali, in which notable former opponents of Ali (Chuvalo fought Ali twice) speak about how fighting Ali changed their lives.

During April 2010, George was a special guest at the BC Golden Gloves tournament held at the Eagle Ridge Community Centre in Langford, BC. [4] The event was co-hosted by Boxing BC and the Capital City Boxing Club

Chuvalo also appeared on The Mercer Report that aired October 5, 2010 on CBC, which featured Rick Mercer visiting Chuvalo at his boxing gym in Toronto.

On December 17, 2011, he came to Sarajevo to attend revealing of a statue in his honor in Ljubuški on Sunday, December 18, 2011.[5]

Chuvalo appears on the cover art of Canadian post-grunge alternative rock band Our Lady Peace (OLP)'s eighth studio album Curve. He has the distinction of being the only person other than Saul Fox and the band members themselves to appear on an OLP album cover. He further contributes spoken word vocals to the final song on the album, "Mettle".

Canadian singer-songwriter Colin Linden wrote a tribute entitled "George Chuvalo", which appeared on his 1997 album Raised By Wolves.[6]

Professional boxing record[edit]

73 Wins (64 knockouts, 9 decisions), 18 Losses (2 knockouts, 16 decisions), 2 Draws [1]
Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Win 73-18-2 Canada George Jerome TKO 3 (12) 11/12/1978 Ontario St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Retained Canada Heavyweight title. This was Chuvalo's last bout, ending a 20 year career as a pro.
Win 72-18-2 Canada Earl McLeay TKO 1 (12) 08/12/1977 Ontario Toronto, Ontario, Canada Retained Canada Heavyweight title. McLeay knocked out by a straight right hand.
Win 71-18-2 Canada Bob Felstein KO 9 (12) 07/03/1977 Ontario North York Centennial Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Won vacant Canada Heavyweight title.
Win 70-18-2 United States Mike Boswell KO 7 (10) 30/10/1973 New York Twin Rinks, Cheektowaga, New York, United States
Win 69-18-2 United States Tony Ventura TKO 3 (10) 25/09/1973 New York Twin Rinks, Cheektowaga, New York, United States
Win 68-18-2 United States Charlie Boston KO 2 (?) 05/09/1972 Haiti Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Win 67-18-2 Canada Tommy Burns KO 1 (?) 10/08/1972 British Columbia Nelson, British Columbia, Canada Retained Canada Heavyweight title.
Loss 66-18-2 United States Muhammad Ali UD 12 01/05/1972 British Columbia Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada For NABF Heavyweight title.
Win 66-17-2 United States Jim Christopher KO 2 (10) 21/02/1972 Manitoba Winnipeg Arena, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Win 65-17-2 Canada Charley Chase TKO 6 (12) 28/01/1972 British Columbia Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Retained Canada Heavyweight title. Fight was stopped after Chase suffered a broken right hand.
Win 64-17-2 United States Cleveland Williams UD 10 17/11/1971 Texas Astrodome, Houston, Texas, United States
Loss 63-17-2 United States Jimmy Ellis UD 10 10/05/1971 Ontario Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Win 63-16-2 Charles Couture KO 2 (10) 11/12/1970 Ohio Austintown Fitch High School Gym, Youngstown, Ohio, United States
Win 62-16-2 United States Tony Ventura TKO 4 (10) 05/11/1970 Quebec Forum, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Win 61-16-2 Canada Tommy Burns KO 1 (10) 24/10/1970 Ontario Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Win 60-16-2 United States Mike Bruce KO 2 (10) 15/08/1970 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Kosevo Stadium, Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
Loss 59-16-2 United States George Foreman TKO 3 (10) 04/08/1970 New York Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States Corner stoppage. Chuvalo was rocked by a left hook and was taking punches in the corner without responding.
Win 59-15-2 United States Charlie Reno KO 3 (10) 30/06/1970 Washington, D.C. Seattle, Washington, D.C., United States Reno was knocked down four times in the 3rd round.
Win 58-15-2 Canada Gino Ricci TKO 1 (10) 10/05/1970 British Columbia Kimberley, British Columbia, Canada
Win 57-15-2 United States Willie Tiger KO 10 (10) 01/05/1970 Michigan Fairgrounds, Detroit, Michigan, United States
Win 56-15-2 United States Jerry Quarry KO 7 (10) 12/12/1969 New York Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States In round 7 Quarry was knocked down by a left hook on the top of the head. He rose at the count of 3, but decided to take a knee, he got up at the count of 10 instead of 9 and referee Zach Clayton declared the fight over at 2:59.
Win 55-15-2 Canada Leslie Borden TKO 3 (?) 16/11/1969 British Columbia Kimberley, British Columbia, Canada
Win 54-15-2 United States Stamford Harris TKO 3 (?) 08/09/1969 Alberta Exhibition Pavilion, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Loss 53-15-2 United States Buster Mathis UD 12 03/02/1969 New York Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States
Win 53-14-2 Italy Dante Cane TKO 7 (10) 12/11/1968 Ontario Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Win 52-14-2 Mexico Manuel Ramos TKO 5 (10) 26/09/1968 New York Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States Ramos down in the 5th round.
Win 51-14-2 United States Vic Brown TKO 3 (10) 17/09/1968 Ontario Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Brown signalled to the referee that he had enough, after he was knocked down twice in the 3rd round.
Win 50-14-2 United States Levi Forte TKO 2 (10) 03/09/1968 Florida Auditorium, Miami Beach, Florida, United States
Win 49-14-2 United States Johnny Featherman KO 1 (12) 30/06/1968 British Columbia Penticton, British Columbia, Canada
Win 48-14-2 Canada Jean-Claude Roy UD 12 05/06/1968 Saskatchewan Exhibition Stadium, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada Won Canada Heavyweight title. Joe Louis was the referee. There were no knockdowns and neither fighter was in serious trouble.
Loss 47-14-2 United States Joe Frazier TKO 4 (10) 19/07/1967 New York Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States
Win 47-13-2 United States Archie Ray TKO 2 (10) 22/06/1967 Montana Adams Field House, Missoula, Montana, United States
Win 46-13-2 Germany Willi Besmanoff TKO 3 (10) 27/05/1967 Florida Cocoa, Florida, United States
Win 45-13-2 Germany Willi Besmanoff TKO 3 (10) 04/04/1967 Florida Auditorium, Miami Beach, Florida, United States
Win 44-13-2 United States Buddy Moore KO 2 (10) 20/03/1967 Massachusetts Four Seasons Arena, Walpole, Massachusetts, United States
Win 43-13-2 United States Dick Wipperman TKO 3 (10) 22/02/1967 Ohio Armory, Akron, Ohio, United States Wipperman was knocked down three times in the 3rd round.
Win 42-13-2 United States Vic Brown KO 4 (10) 16/01/1967 Massachusetts Four Seasons Arena, Walpole, Massachusetts, United States
Win 41-13-2 Willie McCormick KO 3 (10) 16/12/1966 Newfoundland and Labrador Labrador City, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Win 40-13-2 United States Dave Russell TKO 2 (10) 28/11/1966 New Brunswick Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Win 39-13-2 United States Boston Jacobs TKO 3 (10) 21/11/1966 Michigan Cobo Arena, Detroit, Michigan, United States
Win 38-13-2 United States Dick Wipperman TKO 5 (10) 12/10/1966 Quebec Paul Sauve Arena, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Win 37-13-2 United States Bob Avery TKO 2 (15) 15/09/1966 Alberta Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Chuvalo walloped Avery to the canvas five times before the referee stopped the bout.
Win 36-13-2 United States Mel Turnbow KO 7 (10) 16/08/1966 Quebec Paul Sauve Arena, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Loss 35-13-2 Argentina Oscar Bonavena MD 12 23/06/1966 New York Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States
Win 35-12-2 United States Levi Forte TKO 2 (10) 15/05/1966 Nova Scotia Miner's Forum, Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada Forte's corner threw in the towel.
Loss 34-12-2 United States Muhammad Ali UD 15 29/03/1966 Ontario Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada For World Heavyweight title.
Loss 34-11-2 Argentina Eduardo Corletti PTS 10 25/01/1966 United Kingdom Olympia, Kensington, London, United Kingdom
Win 34-10-2 Jamaica Joe Bygraves PTS 10 07/12/1965 United Kingdom Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London, United Kingdom Bygraves down in the 10th round.
Loss 33-10-2 United States Ernie Terrell UD 15 01/11/1965 Ontario Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada For WBA World Heavyweight title.
Win 33-9-2 United States Orvin Veazey KO 2 (10) 17/08/1965 Saskatchewan Exhibition Stadium, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Win 32-9-2 United States Dave Bailey KO 3 (10) 30/06/1965 Saskatchewan Exhibition Stadium, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Win 31-9-2 United States Ed Sonny Andrews TKO 1 (10) 07/06/1965 New Brunswick Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Win 30-9-2 United States Bill Nielsen TKO 8 (10) 19/04/1965 Ontario Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Loss 29-9-2 United States Floyd Patterson UD 12 01/02/1965 New York Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States 1965 Fight of the Year by The Ring Magazine.
Win 29-8-2 United States Calvin Butler KO 3 (10) 10/11/1964 Quebec Hull, Quebec, Canada
Win 28-8-2 United States Doug Jones TKO 11 (12) 02/10/1964 New York Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States Jones was down once in the 11th, before referee Arthur Mercante stopped it. Chuvalo led on two of the three scorecards at the time of the stoppage.
Win 27-8-2 United States Don Prout TKO 3 (10) 27/07/1964 Massachusetts Sargent Field, New Bedford, Massachusetts, United States
Win 26-8-2 Canada Hugh Mercier KO 1 (12) 18/03/1964 Saskatchewan Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada Won vacant Canada Heavyweight title.
Loss 25-8-2 United States Zora Folley UD 10 17/01/1964 Saskatchewan Arena, Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Draw 25-7-2 United States Tony Alongi PTS 10 08/11/1963 Florida Miami Beach, Florida, United States First decision had been win for Alongi, but recheck showed error in referee's card and commission changed decision.
Win 25-7-1 United States Mike DeJohn MD 10 27/09/1963 Kentucky Convention Center, Louisville, Kentucky, United States DeJohn was down in the 2nd & 6th rounds.
Win 24-7-1 United States Lloyd Washington KO 2 (10) 18/05/1963 Michigan Central High Field House, Battle Creek, Michigan, United States
Win 23-7-1 United States Chico Gardner KO 4 (?) 29/04/1963 Ontario London, Ontario, Canada
Win 22-7-1 United States James Wakefield TKO 6 (10) 22/04/1963 Ontario Arena, Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Win 21-7-1 United States Rico Brooks TKO 2 (?) 15/03/1963 Michigan Arena, Detroit, Michigan, United States
Loss 20-7-1 United Kingdom Joe Erskine DQ 5 (10) 02/10/1961 Ontario Toronto, Ontario, Canada Chuvalo was disqualified for headbutting.
Loss 20-6-1 Canada Bob Cleroux SD 12 08/08/1961 Quebec Delormier Stadium, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Lost Canada Heavyweight title.
Win 20-5-1 Germany Willi Besmanoff TKO 4 (10) 27/06/1961 Ontario Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Win 19-5-1 Argentina Alex Miteff SD 10 27/03/1961 Ontario Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Win 18-5-1 Canada Bob Cleroux UD 12 23/11/1960 Quebec Forum, Quebec, Canada Won Canada Heavyweight title.
Loss 17-5-1 Canada Bob Cleroux SD 12 17/08/1960 Quebec Delormier Stadium, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Lost Canada Heavyweight title.
Loss 17-4-1 United States Pete Rademacher UD 10 19/07/1960 Ontario Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Win 17-3-1 Canada Yvon Durelle KO 12 (12) 17/11/1959 Ontario Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Retained Canada Heavyweight title. Durelle was down once in the 1st and 9th, twice in the 10th, and again for the count in the 12th.
Win 16-3-1 United States Frankie Daniels TKO 7 (10) 14/09/1959 Ontario Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Loss 15-3-1 United States Pat McMurtry UD 10 17/10/1958 New York Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States
Win 15-2-1 United States James J Parker KO 1 (12) 15/09/1959 Ontario Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Won vacant Canada Heavyweight title. Parker was knocked down three times.
Draw 14-2-1 Argentina Alex Miteff PTS 10 16/06/1958 Ontario Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Miteff was knocked down in the 10th round.
Win 14–2 United States Howard King KO 2 (10) 21/04/1958 Ontario Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Win 13–2 Cuba Julio Mederos UD 10 27/01/1958 Ontario Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Mederos was knocked down twice in the 2nd round.
Loss 12–2 United States Bob Baker UD 10 09/09/1957 Ontario Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Win 12–1 United States Joe Schmolze KO 4 (10) 06/06/1957 Ontario Fort William, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Joe Schmolze fought this fight under the alias "Joe Olsen". Schmolze was a substitute for Kid Gage.
Win 11–1 United States Emil Brtko TKO 2 (10) 04/22/1957 Ontario Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Win 10–1 United States Moses Graham KO 2 (10) 25/03/1957 Ontario Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Win 9–1 United States Walter Hafer KO 3 (8) 04/03/1957 Ontario Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Win 8–1 United States Sid Russell KO 1 (8) 14/01/1957 Ontario Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Win 7–1 United States Bob Biehler UD 8 19/11/1956 Ontario Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Loss 6–1 United States Howard King SD 8 22/10/1956 Ontario Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Win 6–0 United States Joe Evans KO 1 (8) 10/09/1956 Ontario Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Win 5–0 South Africa Johnny Arthur UD 8 11/06/1956 Ontario Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Win 4–0 Ed McGee KO 1 (?) 23/04/1956 Ontario Toronto, Ontario, Canada Jack Dempsey Heavyweight Novice Tournament.
Win 3–0 Ross Gregory KO 1 (?) 23/04/1956 Ontario Toronto, Ontario, Canada Jack Dempsey Heavyweight Novice Tournament.
Win 2–0 United States Jim Leonard KO 2 (?) 23/04/1956 Ontario Toronto, Ontario, Canada Jack Dempsey Heavyweight Novice Tournament.
Win 1–0 Canada Gordon Baldwin TKO 2 (?) 23/04/1956 Ontario Toronto, Ontario, Canada Jack Dempsey Heavyweight Novice Tournament.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Zawadzki, Edward (2001). The Ultimate Canadian Sports Trivia Book, Volume 1. Canada: Dundurn Press Ltd. p. 216. ISBN 9780888822376. 
  2. ^ "Great catcher poor pitcher that's George", Jim Proudfoot, Toronto Star, March 30, 1966
  3. ^ Episode: Kitchen Knockout, HGTV.ca: Holmes on Holmes, http://www.hgtv.ca/ontv/titledetails.aspx?titleid=111645.
  4. ^ 2010 BC Golden Gloves program
  5. ^ Jure Čuvalo (Georg Chuvalo) danas u Sarajevu, sutra u Ljubuškom: http://www.ljubuski-online.info/bih/novosti/8825-jure-cuvalo-georg-chuvalo-danas-u-sarajevu-sutra-u-ljubuskom-foto.html.
  6. ^ http://www.colinlinden.com/Lyrics-GeorgeChuvalo.html

</references/>^ Chuvalo, George (November 2013). "Lost Boys". Toronto Life Magazine.

External links[edit]