Wilbert McClure

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Wilbert McClure
Personal information
Born (1938-10-29) October 29, 1938 (age 75)
Toledo, Ohio, U.S.

Wilbert McClure (born October 29, 1938) is an American boxer.

Personal[edit]

McClure earned degrees in literature and philosophy in 1961 from the University of Toledo and a doctorate in psychology from Wayne State University in Detroit in 1973. He later became a Massachusetts State Boxing Commissioner. He was honored in August 2012 for his life's work by the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School.[1]

McClure was found guilty in the first legal case in the US to reach a Federal court jury to challenge the concept of same-race discrimination in September 2000. The case was brought by race-black licensed boxing promoter Zeke Wilson Zeke Wilson against a state sports commission headed by the race-black chairman for damage reparations and punitive redress after his right to conduct professional boxing events was violated.[2]

In this case, race-white Boxing Commissioner William Pender performed direct discriminatory acts, while the race-black Commission Chairman Wilbert McClure failed to provide the promoter sufficient protection under his authority and cooperated in the unjust cancellation of a series of boxing events, causing financial harm to the promoter. A unanimous jury verdict found that the race-black Chairman was guilty of racial discrimination along with race-white Commissioner William Pender and both defendants were assessed punitive damages in addition to the compensatory damages awarded by the jury.[3]

The precedent-setting case is the subject of the non-fiction book, The Eighth Round The Eighth Round. The book is being adapted into a motion picture by the same title.

Amateur career[edit]

McClure defeated Carmelo Bossi to win the Light Middleweight gold medal for the United States at the 1960 Olympics in Rome, Italy.

Amateur highlights[edit]

  • 1960 U.S. Olympic Trials 156-lb Champion
  • 1960 National AAU 156-lb Champion
  • 1959 Named Outstanding Amateur Boxer in the U.S.
  • 1959 Pan American Games Gold Medalist
  • 1959 National AAU Champion
  • 1959 160 lb Intercity Golden Gloves Champion
  • 1958 & 1959 160 lb Chicago Golden Gloves Champion
  • 1958 International Diamond Belt Champion, Mexico City

Pro career[edit]

Nicknamed "Skeeter", McClure turned pro in 1961 and had limited success. He never fought for a major title, and lost to notable pros Luis Manuel Rodríguez, Rubin Carter (and also drew once with Carter), and Johnny Pritchett before retiring in 1970.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Annual Martha's Vineyard Forum: Between the Lines: Race and Gender in Sports in the 21st Century". Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  2. ^ Wilson v. McClure et al, 135 F. Supp. 2d 66 (D. Mass. 2001)
  3. ^ 29 M.L.W. 274

External links[edit]