Joe Erskine (Welsh boxer)

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Joe Erskine
Statistics
Real name Joseph Erskine
Nickname(s) Joe
Rated at Heavyweight
Nationality British (Welsh)
Born 26 January 1934
Cardiff, Wales
Died 18 February 1990 (aged 56)
Cardiff, Wales
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 54
Wins 45
Wins by KO 13
Losses 8
Draws 1
No contests 0
For Joe Erskine, the American welterweight boxer and long distance runner, see Joe Erskine (American boxer).

Joseph "Joe" Erskine (26 January 1934 – 18 February 1990[1]) was a heavyweight boxer from the Butetown district of Cardiff, Wales, he was Amateur Boxing Association Champion, Inter-Services Champion and British Army Champion in 1953. He began fighting as a professional in 1954 and was trained by Freddie Elvin. He held the British heavyweight title from August 1956 to June 1958. In all, he won 45 of his 54 professional bouts, losing 8, with one drawn, the best wins were over George Chuvalo, Henry Cooper, Dick Richardson, Uli Ritter, Jack Bodell, Johnny Williams, Joe Bygraves and Willie Pastrano,

Erskine was a small heavyweight who outmaneuvered rather than overpowered his opponents. Angelo Dundee who saw his prospect Pastrano defeated by Erskine said he was surprised by his skill - further remarking that if Erskine had been just a bit bigger he could have been a world beater.[2]

Career[edit]

On 15 December 1955, Erskine had his first fight against Henry Cooper, at Harringay Arena, in an eliminator for the British heavyweight title, and won the ten-round fight on points.

On 27 August 1956, Erskine won the British heavyweight title, which had been vacated by the retirement of Don Cockell. He beat fellow Welshman, Johnny Williams on points in a fifteen-round fight at the Maindy Stadium, Cardiff.

On 17 September 1957, he added the British Empire (Commonwealth) heavyweight title, when he beat Henry Cooper for the second time. The fight was at Harringay Arena over fifteen rounds, and was won on points.

He successfully defended his British Empire (Commonwealth) against Jamaican-born heavyweight Joe Bygraves on 25 November 1957, again winning over fifteen rounds on points.

On 21 February 1958, he unsuccessfully fought for the European heavyweight title against Ingemar Johansson, in Gothenburg, Sweden, losing on a technical knockout in the thirteenth round.

On 3 June 1958, he defended both his titles against Brian London, of Blackpool in a bout at the White City Stadium, London. Erskine was knocked out in the eighth round.

On 24 February 1959, Erskine fought and defeated the talented American boxer Willie Pastrano, who was later (in 1964) to become World light-heavyweight champion. The fight was at the Wembley Stadium over ten rounds and Erskine won on points.

On 24 June 1959, he fought another Welsh boxer, Dick Richardson in a ten-round bout at Coney Beach Arena, Porthcawl, Wales, and won on points.

In the meantime Henry Cooper had defeated Brian London to take the British and Commonwealth titles from him. On 17 November 1959, Erskine fought Cooper for both titles, having beaten him on their two previous meetings. The bout was held at the Earls Court Arena, London. Cooper won the fight on a technical knockout. Cooper, who was renowned for the power of his left hook, floored Erskine twice with terrific left hooks and Erskine was hanging almost unconscious over the lower rope when the referee stopped the bout.

On 21 March 1961, Erskine fought Cooper again for the two titles, this time at the Empire Pool, Wembley, and again lost on a technical knockout, this time in the fifth round.

Erskine went to Toronto, Canada to fight George Chuvalo, who was hoping to show that he had the talent to fight for the world title against Floyd Patterson. Unfortunately for Chuvalo the fight, on 2 October 1961, was stopped in the fifth round and Chuvalo was disqualified for persistent head butting. Erskine claimed that he was butted eight times during the five rounds.

On 2 April 1962, he fought Cooper for the fifth and last time, this time at the Ice Rink, Nottingham. Cooper retained his titles by winning on a technical knockout in the ninth round.

On 13 October 1963, he fought the famous German, southpaw, Karl Mildenberger, in Dortmund, Germany, and lost the ten-round bout on points.

On 3 March 1964, Erskine fought Jack Bodell, a British champion of the future, and defeated him on points over ten rounds.

His last fight was against Billy Walker on 27 October 1964 at the Empire Pool, Wembley. He lost the ten-round bout on points.

In his 54 professional bouts, he won 45 (13 on knock-outs), and lost 8 (6 on knock-outs). One of his bouts was drawn.

Professional boxing record[edit]

45 Wins (13 knockouts, 32 decisions), 8 Losses (6 knockouts, 2 decisions), 1 Draw [1]
Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Loss 12-3-1 United Kingdom Billy "Golden Boy" Walker PTS 10 27 Oct 1964 United Kingdom Empire Pool, Wembley, London
Win 24-3-2 United Kingdom Johnny Prescott PTS 10 21 Apr 1964 United Kingdom Embassy Sportsdrome, Birmingham, West Midlands
Win 15-3 United Kingdom Jack Bodell PTS 10 3 Mar 1964 United Kingdom Granby Halls, Leicester, Leicestershire
Loss 37-2-1 Germany Karl Mildenberger PTS 10 13 Oct 1963 Germany Westfalenhallen, Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia
Win 19-15-2 United States Freddie Mack PTS 10 10 Aug 1963 Wales Pavilion, Newtown, Powys
Win 3-3 Luxembourg Ray Cillien TKO 4 29 Jul 1963 Wales Cardiff Drill Hall, Cardiff
Win 10-11 Nigeria Alex Barrow KO 7 12 Dec 1962 United Kingdom Tower Circus, Blackpool, Lancashire
Win 18-18-4 Spain Jose Mariano Moracia Ibanes PTS 10 20 Nov 1962 United Kingdom Leicester, Leicestershire
Loss 25-8-1 United Kingdom Henry Cooper TKO 9 2 Apr 1962 United Kingdom Nottingham Ice Stadium, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire Commonwealth/BBBofC Heavyweight Titles.
Win 20-6-1 Canada George Chuvalo DQ 5 2 Oct 1961 Canada Toronto, Ontario Chuvalo disqualified at 1:27 of the fifth round for headbutting.
Loss 22-7-1 United Kingdom Henry Cooper TKO 5 21 Mar 1961 United Kingdom Empire Pool, Wembley, London Commonwealth/BBBofC Heavyweight Titles.
Win 20-4-6 Germany Ulli Ritter PTS 10 24 Jan 1961 United Kingdom Granby Halls, Leicester, Leicestershire
Win 30-21-6 Spain José González Sales TKO 5 22 Sep 1960 Wales Sophia Gardens, Cardiff
Loss 19-7-1 United Kingdom Henry Cooper TKO 12 17 Nov 1959 United Kingdom Earls Court Arena, Kensington, London BBBofC/Commonwealth Heavyweight Titles.
Win 24-1-1 Italy Bruno Scarabellin PTS 10 26 Aug 1959 Wales Coney Beach Pleasure Park, Porthcawl
Win 27-8-2 Wales Dick Richardson PTS 10 24 Jun 1959 Wales Coney Beach Pleasure Park, Porthcawl
Win 47-6-5 United States Willie Pastrano PTS 10 24 Feb 1959 United Kingdom Empire Exhibition Stadium, Wembley, London
Win 9-3-1 France Max Brianto PTS 10 12 Nov 1958 Wales Maindy Stadium, Cardiff
Loss 20-3 United Kingdom Brian London KO 8 3 Jun 1958 United Kingdom White City Stadium, White City, London BBBofC/Commonwealth Heavyweight Titles.
Loss 18-0 Sweden Ingemar Johansson TKO 13 21 Feb 1958 Sweden Masshallen, Gothenburg EBU Heavyweight Title.
Win 36-10-1 Jamaica Joe Bygraves PTS 15 25 Nov 1957 United Kingdom Granby Halls, Leicester, Leicestershire Commonwealth Heavyweight Title.
Win 14-5 United Kingdom Henry Cooper PTS 15 17 Sep 1957 United Kingdom Harringay Arena, Harringay, London Commonwealth/BBBofC Heavyweight Titles.
Win 23-7-1 United Kingdom Peter Bates PTS 12 28 May 1957 United Kingdom Doncaster Racecourse, Doncaster, Yorkshire
Loss 37-14-3 Cuba Nino Valdes KO 1 19 Feb 1957 United Kingdom Earls Court Arena, Kensington, London Erskine knocked out at 2:03 of the first round.
Win 60-9-4 Wales Johnny Williams PTS 15 27 Aug 1956 Wales Maindy Stadium, Cardiff BBBofC Heavyweight Title.
Win 17-2-1 Wales Dick Richardson PTS 10 7 May 1956 Wales Maindy Stadium, Cardiff
Win 17-13-8 Germany Guenter Nurnberg PTS 10 19 Mar 1956 Wales Carmarthen Market Hall, Carmarthen
Win 33-7-1 Belgium Marcel Limage PTS 10 16 Jan 1956 Wales Maindy Stadium, Cardiff
Win 11-1 United Kingdom Henry Cooper PTS 10 15 Nov 1955 United Kingdom Harringay Arena, Harringay, London BBBofC Heavyweight Title Eliminator.
Win 8-11-2 Belgium Bernard Verdoolaeghe TKO 2 10 Oct 1955 Wales Sophia Gardens, Cardiff
Win 9-1 Italy Antonio Crosia KO 8 13 Sep 1955 United Kingdom White City Stadium, White City, London
Win 17-9-6 Italy Uber Bacilieri PTS 10 29 Aug 1955 Wales Maindy Stadium, Cardiff
Win 10-3 Netherlands Henk de Voogd KO 1 18 Jul 1955 Wales Maindy Stadium, Cardiff
Win 16-19-2 Trinidad and Tobago Ansell Adams PTS 10 9 May 1955 United Kingdom Granby Halls, Leicester, Leicestershire
Win 21-22-3 Jamaica Simon Templar TKO 8 26 Apr 1955 United Kingdom Harringay Arena, Harringay, London
Win 16-2 United Kingdom Peter Bates PTS 10 15 Mar 1955 United Kingdom Embassy Rink, Birmingham, West Midlands
Win 8-7 United Kingdom Joe Crickmar PTS 8 28 Feb 1955 United Kingdom Granby Halls, Leicester, Leicestershire
Win 14-11-1 United Kingdom Cliff Purnell PTS 8 15 Feb 1955 United Kingdom Embassy Sportsdrome, Birmingham, West Midlands
Win 4-14-3 Scotland Hugh McDonald TKO 6 1 Feb 1955 United Kingdom Willenhall Drill Hall, Willenhall, West Midlands
Win 13-8-1 United Kingdom Cliff Purnell PTS 8 7 Dec 1954 United Kingdom Town Hall, Walsall, West Midlands
Win 1-2 United Kingdom Jack Walker KO 1 8 Nov 1954 United Kingdom Granby Halls, Leicester, Leicestershire
Win 12-9 United Kingdom Morrie Bush PTS 8 11 Oct 1954 Wales Haverfordwest Market Hall, Haverfordwest
Win 4-7 United Kingdom Dennis Lockton PTS 6 28 Sep 1954 United Kingdom Olympia Skating Rink, Hanley, Staffordshire
Win 18-4 United Kingdom Jimmy Moran PTS 6 14 Sep 1954 United Kingdom Sheffield, Yorkshire
Win 3-2 United Kingdom Denny Ball PTS 6 19 Jul 1954 Wales Ninian Park, Cardiff
Win -- Joe Farley KO 2 1 Jun 1954 United Kingdom White City Stadium, White City, London Novice Tournament.
Win 1-0 United Kingdom Eddie Keith KO 2 1 Jun 1954 United Kingdom White City Stadium, White City, London Novice Tournament.
Win 2-1 United Kingdom Denny Ball PTS 3 1 Jun 1954 United Kingdom White City Stadium, White City, London Novice Tournament.
Win 3-3 United Kingdom Mick Cowan PTS 6 11 May 1954 United Kingdom Earls Court Arena, Kensington, London
Win 7-6-4 United Kingdom Frank Walshaw PTS 6 1 May 1954 Wales Newtown Drill Hall, Newtown, Powys
Draw 5-12-1 United Kingdom Dinny Powell PTS 6 12 Apr 1954 United Kingdom Maindy Stadium, Cardiff
Win 5-5 United Kingdom Frank Walker DQ 5 22 Mar 1954 United Kingdom Embassy Sportsdrome, Birmingham, West Midlands
Win 1-0 Northern Ireland Tommy Rogers KO 2 16 Mar 1954 United Kingdom Willenhall Drill Hall, Willenhall, West Midlands
Win 15-8-1 United Kingdom Alf Price KO 2 9 Mar 1954 United Kingdom Olympia Skating Rink, Hanley, Staffordshire

Genealogical information[edit]

Joe Erskine was the cousin of the rugby union and rugby league footballer of the 1950s and '60s for Cardiff IAC (RU), Wales (RL), and Halifax, Johnny Freeman.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Wales John Disley
BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year
1956
Succeeded by
Wales Dai Rees

External links[edit]