Len Harvey

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Len Harvey
Len Harvey 1.jpg
Statistics
Real name Leonard Austen Harvey
Rated at Middleweight
Light Heavyweight
Heavyweight
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Reach 73 12 in (187 cm)
Nationality British
Born (1907-07-11)July 11, 1907
Stoke Climsland, Cornwall
Died November 28, 1976(1976-11-28) (aged 69)
Boxing record
Total fights 140
Wins 116
Wins by KO 55
Losses 14
Draws 10

Len Harvey (11 July 1907 – 28 November 1976) was a boxer born in Stoke Climsland, Cornwall. A great tactician and defensive boxer who boxed at every weight division of his day. He began boxing at the very young age of 12 and boxed to he was 36. He was British champion at three weights, middleweight, light-heavy and heavyweight. He also held the British Empire championship at light-heavy and heavyweight as well as being recognised as world light-heavyweight champion in Britain from 1939–1942.

Early career[edit]

British middleweight champion[edit]

Len Harvey started out as a flyweight at 12. By the time he was 18 he was ready to fight for the British welterweight title. He was held to a draw though by Harry Mason on 29 April 1926. His next British title shot came 2 years later on 16 May 1929. This time at middleweight against Alex Ireland. Harvey knocked out his opponent in the seventh round to become British champion. He made six defences between 1929 and 1933. He also fought Marcel Thil of France for the world middleweight championship. He lost on points in a close decision.

British light heavyweight & heavyweight champion[edit]

On 10 April 1933, he defended his title against Jock McAvoy. This ended in defeat for Harvey but two months later he was in the ring again challenging Eddie Phillips and won on points to become British Light Heavyweight champion. On 30 November that year he beat the then unbeaten Jack Petersen to become the British Heavyweight champion. He then went on to beat Canada's Larry Gains to become British Empire champion, but lost both titles in a rematch with Petersen being stopped in the 12th round on cuts. Harvey then went on to fight for the world title on 9 November 1936, but was beaten on points by John Henry Lewis. He then regained the British Heavyweight title by disqualification against old foe Eddie Phillips. In 1938 John Henry Lewis retired after developing eye problems, Harvey was then matched with another old foe Jock McAvoy for British recognition of the world championship at Harringay Arena. This time he won on points on 10 July 1939.

Later career and death[edit]

During World War II Harvey joined the Royal Air Force. By this time he was a national sporting idol and was given an officer rank. During this time he was persuaded to defend his titles against Freddie Mills on 20 June 1942. By this time Harvey was a veteran of over a hundred bouts and was 35 years old. He was knocked out in two rounds, only the second time he was stopped and the first by K.O. He retired after this bout. He had an official record of 133 fights, 111 wins, 9 draws and 13 defeats: he claimed to have had 418 fights,but they probably included booth fights. His three fights with Jock McAvoy were legendary; he won two and lost one. He later died in London on 28 November 1976. Such was his legend that he was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in 2008.

Notable bouts[edit]

Result Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location Notes[1]
Loss United Kingdom Freddie Mills KO 2 (15) 1942-06-20 United Kingdom White Hart Lane, Tottenham, London
Win United Kingdom Jock McAvoy PTS 15 1939-07-10 United Kingdom White City Stadium, White City, London
Win Canada Larry Gains TKO 13 (15) 1939-03-16 United Kingdom Harringay Arena, Harringay, London
Win United Kingdom Jock McAvoy PTS 15 1938-04-07 United Kingdom Harringay Arena, Harringay, London
Loss United States John Henry Lewis PTS 15 1936-11-09 United Kingdom Empire Pool, Wembley, London
Loss Wales Jack Petersen PTS 15 1936-01-29 United Kingdom Empire Pool, Wembley, London
Draw Nazi Germany Walter Neusel PTS 12 1934-11-26 United Kingdom Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London
Win Canada Larry Gains PTS 15 1934-02-08 United Kingdom Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London
Win Wales Jack Petersen PTS 15 1933-11-30 United Kingdom Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London
Loss United Kingdom Jock McAvoy PTS 15 1933-04-10 United Kingdom Belle Vue Zoological Gardens, Manchester, Lancashire
Loss France Marcel Thil PTS 15 1932-07-04 United Kingdom White City Stadium, White City, London
Win United Kingdom Len Johnson PTS 15 1932-05-11 United Kingdom Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London
Win United Kingdom Jock McAvoy PTS 15 1932-03-21 United Kingdom Belle Vue Zoological Gardens, Manchester, Lancashire
Loss United States Ben Jeby UD 12 1931-03-20 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Loss United States Vince Dundee SD 12 1931-02-13 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Loss United States Vince Dundee UD 12 1931-01-09 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win United States Dave Shade PTS 15 1930-09-29 United Kingdom Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London
Win Scotland Alexander Ireland KO 7 (15) 1929-05-16 United Kingdom Olympia, Kensington, London
Win Wales Frank Moody TKO 6 (10) 1929-02-21 United Kingdom The Crystal Palace, Sydenham, London
Win France Marcel Thil PTS 15 1927-12-12 United Kingdom Holland Park Rink, Kensington, London
Loss United Kingdom Len Johnson PTS 20 1927-01-03 United Kingdom The Ring, Southwark, London

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Len Harvey's Professional Boxing Record. BoxRec.com. Retrieved on 2014-05-18.

Further reading[edit]

  • Arnold, Peter History of Boxing
  • Hugman, Barry J. (ed.) The British Boxing Board of Control Year Book 2007
  • Mullan, Harry The World Encyclopedia of Boxing

External links[edit]

Achievements
Preceded by
Alexander Ireland
British Middleweight Champion
16 May 1929 - 10 April 1933
Succeeded by
Jock McAvoy
Commonwealth Middleweight Champion
16 May 1929 - 10 April 1933
Preceded by
Jack Petersen
British Heavyweight Champion
30 November 1933 - 4 June 1934
Succeeded by
Jack Petersen
Preceded by
Larry Gains
Commonwealth Heavyweight Champion
8 February 1934 - 4 June 1934
Preceded by
Jock McAvoy
British Light Heavyweight Champion
7 April 1938 - 20 June 1942
Succeeded by
Freddie Mills
Vacant
Title last held by
Gipsy Daniels
Commonwealth Light Heavyweight Champion
10 July 1939 - 20 June 1942
Vacant
Title last held by
Tommy Farr
British Heavyweight Champion
1 December 1938 – 21 November 1942
Retired
Succeeded by
Jack London
Commonwealth Heavyweight Champion
16 March 1939 – 21 November 1942
Retired
Titles in pretence
Vacant
Title last held by
Joe Choynski
World Light Heavyweight Champion
BBBC recognition

10 July 1939 - 20 June 1942
Vacant