Yvon Durelle

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Yvon Durelle
Yvon Durelle.jpg
Statistics
Real name Yvon Durelle
Nickname(s) The Fighting Fisherman
Rated at Middleweight
Light Heavyweight
Heavyweight
Height 5 ft 9 12 in (1.77 m)
Reach 70 in (178 cm)
Nationality Canadian
Born (1929-10-14)October 14, 1929
Baie-Sainte-Anne, New Brunswick
Died January 6, 2007(2007-01-06) (aged 77)
Moncton, New Brunswick
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 115
Wins 88
Wins by KO 49
Losses 24
Draws 2
No contests 1

Yvon Durelle (October 14, 1929 – January 6, 2007), born in Baie-Ste-Anne, New Brunswick, Canada, was an Acadian Canadian champion boxer.

Biography[edit]

Early life and career[edit]

From a family of fourteen children, Yvon Durelle grew up in Baie-Ste-Anne, a small Acadian fishing village on the Atlantic coast. Like many others of his generation, he left school at an early age to work on a fishing boat. In his spare time, Durelle liked to box and while still working in the fishery, he began prize fighting on weekends. Dubbed as the Fighting Fisherman, he began his professional career in 1948, boxing at various venues around the province of New Brunswick. Over time he gained a reputation as a tough opponent with a hard punch and his victories eventually made him one of the top ranked middleweight fighters in Canada.

Championship years[edit]

In May 1953, Durelle won the Canadian middleweight championship then, after defending his title and winning 8 straight bouts, he moved up in weight class to fight in the light heavyweight division where in his first fight against a heavier and stronger opponent, he defeated the Canadian champion to take the light-heavyweight title. The following year, he fought outside his native Canada for the first time, going to Brooklyn, New York to fight Floyd Patterson, an up-and-coming American Golden Gloves champion. Outpointed in 8 rounds by the man who would soon become the heavyweight champion of the world, Durelle's strong performance in a losing cause against Patterson gained him wide respect in the international boxing world.

In New York City in March 1957, Durelle broke into the top ten world rankings with a 10-round decision over Angelo Defendis. In May he won the British Empire light-heavyweight championship and the following month fought the top-ranked contender in the world, Tony Anthony. In a fight most experts say he won handily, Durelle was given only a draw against the heavily favored Anthony but it elevated him to the number 3 ranking in the world. He became a much talked about sports personality in his native country after he beat the German champion, Willi Besmanoff. In 1958, he defeated Clarence Hinnant, regarded by many as one of the best all around boxers of the time. The victory provided Durelle with the opportunity for his first chance to fight for a world title.

Yvon Durelle's light-heavyweight championship fight against the great Archie Moore on December 10, 1958 at the Forum in Montreal, Quebec, is one of the most memorable fights in boxing history. Listed as a 4-to-1 underdog, the bout made Yvon Durelle a legend in Canada, gaining him near cult status for his performance. In one of the first fights broadcast coast-to-coast on American television, Durelle stunned boxing patrons by knocking the champion down 3 times in the first round. Under boxing rules today (except those of the World Boxing Council), the fight would have been stopped after three knockdowns in one round and Yvon Durelle would have been world champion. Also, he missed an opportunity when, after the first knockdown, he stood over Moore watching for several seconds before returning to his corner. As a result of his delay, the referee had to wait to begin the count, and Moore made it to his feet at the count of nine. Durelle swarmed all over the champion for four more rounds and knocked him to the canvas again in round five but Moore held on and eventually wore Durelle down to retain his world championship with an eleventh round knockout. The fight was the talk of the boxing world and members of the Canadian Press voted it the sporting event of the year.

From boxing to wrestling[edit]

Six months later, in June 1959, at Durelle's home village of Baie-Ste-Anne, thirty-five fishermen died when they were swept out to sea by 40 foot tidal waves that pounded the wharf. Distraught at the loss of friends and relatives, in August he lost in a world title fight rematch with Archie Moore by a third round knockout. In November of that year he lost in 12 rounds to the Canadian heavyweight champion, George Chuvalo. Durelle fought only a few more times, before taking up professional wrestling in 1961. He returned to boxing in 1963 winning twice more before retiring permanently. He continued to earn a living at wrestling, primarily in eastern Canada but on occasion with Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling, in Calgary, Alberta.

Later life and death[edit]

Despite his size and brutal profession, Durelle is often referred to as a modest and gentle man (his nickname was "doux", meaning "soft"). However, in the 1970s an event would profoundly impact him and his family when, in a bar that he owned and operated, he shot and killed a man who had attacked him. Charged with murder, he was defended by a young lawyer by the name of Frank McKenna and was acquitted on the grounds of self-defense. The trial received massive and sustained publicity and McKenna would eventually go into politics and be elected Premier of the province of New Brunswick.

Retired in his native village, a small museum with souvenirs of his twenty-year boxing career was built attached to his home where he and his wife of more than fifty years greeted fans who still showed up to see the New Brunswick boxer. In an article for ESPN.Com about the most memorable matches in boxing history, current-day referee Mills Lane said: "I don't think you'll ever see a fight like Durelle-Moore again...That fight transcended what great fights are."

Durelle's acclaimed biography, The Fighting Fisherman - The Life of Yvon Durelle, was written by New Brunswick author Raymond Fraser and published by Doubleday in 1981. A French translation, Yvon Durelle - le boxeur qui venait de la mer, was released a year later by Editions Inedi of Montreal. Two further editions of the book have since appeared from Formac Publishing, in 1983 and 2005.

Durelle incurred a stroke on December 25, 2006, and died at age 77 on January 6, 2007, at The Moncton Hospital in Moncton, New Brunswick. He had also contracted Parkinson's disease prior to this. His funeral was held on January 11, 2007, from Ste-Anne Roman Catholic Church in Baie-Ste-Anne, New Brunswick.

Professional boxing record[edit]

87 Wins (48 Knockouts), 24 Losses (9 Knockouts), 2 Draws, 1 No Contest [1]
Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Loss 87-24-2 Canada Jean-Claude Roy PTS 8 06/12/1964 Canada Montmagny, Quebec
Win 87-23-2 Canada Phonse LaSaga TKO 1 24/03/1963 Canada Trois-Rivieres, Quebec
Win 86-23-2 Canada Cecil Gray KO 7 25/02/1963 Canada Paul Sauve Arena, Montreal, Quebec
Loss 85-23-2 United States Paul Wright PTS 10 15/09/1960 Canada Moncton, New Brunswick
Win 85-22-2 John Armstrong KO 4 22/06/1960 Canada Woodstock, New Brunswick
Win 84-22-2 United States Ray Batey DQ 9 15/06/1960 Canada Chatham, New Brunswick
Win 83-22-2 Emile Dupre TKO 3 26/05/1960 United States Brewer, Maine
Loss 82-22-2 Canada George Chuvalo KO 12 17/11/1959 Canada Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario Canada Heavyweight Title
Win 82-21-2 United States Young Beau Jack TKO 9 23/10/1959 Canada Moncton, New Brunswick
Win 81-21-2 United States Charlie Jones UD 10 28/09/1959 Canada Exhibition Grounds, Quebec City, Quebec
Win 80-21-2 United States Al Anderson KO 4 15/09/1959 Canada Chatham, New Brunswick
Loss 79-21-2 United States Archie Moore KO 3 12/08/1959 Canada Montreal Forum, Montreal, Quebec NYSAC/NBA World Light Heavyweight Titles.
Win 79-20-2 United States Teddy Burns TKO 3 12/05/1959 United States General Carter State Armory, Caribou, Maine
Loss 78-20-2 United States Archie Moore KO 11 10/12/1958 Canada Montreal Forum, Montreal, Quebec World Light Heavyweight Title.
Win 78-19-2 United States Louis Jones KO 2 02/10/1958 Canada Moncton, New Brunswick
Win 77-19-2 United States Freddie Mack PTS 10 28/08/1958 Canada Moncton, New Brunswick
Win 76-19-2 South Africa Mike Holt RTD 8 16/07/1958 Canada Montreal Forum, Montreal, Quebec Commonwealth Light Heavyweight Title.
Win 75-19-2 France Germinal Ballarin UD 10 21/05/1958 Canada Montreal Forum, Montreal, Quebec
Loss 74-19-2 United States Tony E. Anthony TKO 7 14/03/1958 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City
Win 74-18-2 United States Clarence Hinnant TKO 6 31/01/1958 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City
Win 73-18-2 United States Jerry Luedee UD 10 11/12/1957 United States Fort Homer W. Hesterly Armory, Tampa, Florida
Win 72-18-2 Canada Mario Nini KO 4 22/11/1957 Canada Edmunston, New Brunswick
Win 71-18-2 United States Floyd McCoy KO 2 07/11/1957 Canada Moncton, New Brunswick
Win 70-18-2 Germany Willi Besmanoff UD 10 25/09/1957 United States Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan
Win 69-18-2 United States Tim Jones TKO 8 29/08/1957 Canada Stadium, Moncton, New Brunswick
Win 68-18-2 Germany Guenter Balzer TKO 8 15/08/1957 Canada Chatham, New Brunswick
Draw 67-18-2 United States Tony E. Anthony PTS 10 14/06/1957 United States Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan
Win 67-18-1 Canada Gordon Wallace KO 2 30/05/1957 Canada Moncton, New Brunswick Commonwealth/Canada Light Heavyweight Titles.
Win 66-18-1 United States Leo Johnson TKO 5 16/05/1957 Canada Moncton, New Brunswick
Win 65-18-1 United States Angelo DeFendis MD 10 22/04/1957 United States St. Nicholas Arena, New York City
Win 64-18-1 United States Clarence Floyd TKO 7 25/03/1957 United States St. Nicholas Arena, New York City
Loss 63-18-1 United States Clarence Hinnant TKO 7 19/02/1957 United States Miami Beach Auditorium, Miami Beach, Florida
Win 63-17-1 United States Bobby L. King KO 1 27/10/1956 Canada Fredericton, New Brunswick
Win 62-17-1 United States Chubby Wright SD 10 04/10/1956 Canada Moncton, New Brunswick
Win 61-17-1 United States Gary Garafola KO 1 20/09/1956 Canada Moncton, New Brunswick
Win 60-17-1 United States Wilfred Picot TKO 4 06/09/1956 Canada Lord Beaverbrook Rink, Saint John, New Brunswick
Win 59-17-1 United States Alvin Williams UD 10 16/08/1956 Canada Moncton, New Brunswick
Win 58-17-1 United States Wilfred Picot TKO 4 19/07/1956 Canada Moncton, New Brunswick
Loss 57-17-1 United Kingdom Arthur Howard PTS 10 19/06/1956 United Kingdom Clapton Greyhound Track, Clapton, London
Win 57-16-1 United States Jerome Richardson PTS 10 20/05/1956 Bermuda Hamilton, Bermuda
Loss 56-16-1 United States Artie Towne DQ 7 28/11/1955 United Kingdom Nottingham Ice Stadium, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
Loss 56-15-1 Trinidad and Tobago Yolande Pompey TKO 7 18/10/1955 United Kingdom Harringay Arena, Harringay, London
Loss 56-14-1 United States Jimmy Slade TKO 8 03/09/1955 Canada Glace Bay, Nova Scotia
Win 56-13-1 Canada Billy Fifield KO 1 28/07/1955 Canada Moncton, New Brunswick Canada Light Heavyweight Title.
Loss 55-13-1 United States Floyd Patterson RTD 5 23/06/1955 Canada Newcastle, New Brunswick
Win 55-12-1 Puerto Rico Jimmy J. Garcia TKO 8 16/06/1955 Canada Moncton, New Brunswick
Loss 54-12-1 United Kingdom Ron Barton DQ 3 24/05/1955 United Kingdom Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London
Loss 54-11-1 United States Art Henri PTS 12 10/12/1954 Germany Sportpalast, Schoeneberg, Berlin
Loss 54-10-1 Germany Gerhard Hecht UD 10 12/11/1954 Germany Sportpalast, Schoeneberg, Berlin
Win 54-9-1 Canada Gordon Wallace UD 12 27/09/1954 Canada Glace Bay, Nova Scotia Canada Light Heavyweight Title.
Win 53-9-1 United States Bob Isler PTS 10 25/08/1954 Canada Newcastle, New Brunswick
Loss 52-9-1 United States Paul Andrews KO 5 26/07/1954 United States St. Nicholas Arena, New York City
Win 52-8-1 Canada Doug Harper UD 12 07/07/1954 Canada Newcastle, New Brunswick Canada Light Heavyweight Title.
Win 51-8-1 United States Jerome Richardson SD 10 23/06/1954 Canada Moncton, New Brunswick
Win 50-8-1 United States Sampson Powell UD 10 09/06/1954 Canada Newcastle, New Brunswick
Win 49-8-1 Canada Charley E. Chase SD 10 04/06/1954 Canada Stadium, Moncton, New Brunswick
Win 48-8-1 Canada Billy Fifield KO 10 24/05/1954 Canada Glace Bay, Nova Scotia
Loss 47-8-1 United States Waddell Hanna PTS 10 05/05/1954 Canada Chatham, New Brunswick
Loss 47-7-1 United States Floyd Patterson UD 8 15/02/1954 United States Boxing From Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York
Draw 47-6-1 Canada Doug Harper PTS 12 27/01/1954 Canada Victoria Pavilion, Calgary, Alberta Canada Light Heavyweight Title.
Loss 47-6 Canada Doug Harper SD 12 17/11/1953 Canada Victoria Pavilion, Calgary, Alberta Canada Light Heavyweight Title.
Win 47-5 Canada Gordon Wallace UD 12 15/10/1953 Canada Moncton, New Brunswick Canada Light Heavyweight Title.
Win 46-5 United States Al Winn UD 10 30/09/1953 Canada Newcastle, New Brunswick
Win 45-5 Canada Melvin Wade KO 9 24/09/1953 Canada Moncton, New Brunswick
Win 44-5 Canada Gordon Wallace UD 12 07/09/1953 Canada Glace Bay, Nova Scotia Canada Light Heavyweight Title.
Win 43-5 Cuba Wilfredo Miro KO 2 26/08/1953 Canada Sinclair Arena, Newcastle, New Brunswick
Win 42-5 United States Curtis Wade TKO 8 20/08/1953 Canada Moncton, New Brunswick
Win 41-5 Canada Archie Hannigan KO 5 02/08/1953 Canada Glace Bay, Nova Scotia Claim Maritime Light Heavyweight Title.
Win 40-5 United States Joey Greco TKO 4 20/07/1953 Canada Chatham, New Brunswick
Win 39-5 United States Curtis Wade SD 10 25/06/1953 Canada Moncton, New Brunswick
Win 38-5 Canada Harry Poulton SD 12 19/06/1953 Canada Memorial Rink, Stellarton, Nova Scotia Canada Middleweight Title.
Win 37-5 United States Tony Amato KO 6 20/05/1953 Canada Chatham, New Brunswick
Win 36-5 Canada George Ross TKO 12 04/05/1953 Canada Glace Bay Forum, Glace Bay, Nova Scotia Canada Middleweight Title.
Win 35-5 Canada Jimmy Nolan UD 10 09/10/1952 Canada Stampede Corral, Calgary, Alberta
Win 34-5 United States Hurley Sanders UD 10 24/09/1952 Canada Chatham, New Brunswick
Loss 33-5 United States Hurley Sanders UD 10 25/06/1952 Canada Chatham, New Brunswick
Win 33-4 Canada Eddie Zastre UD 10 21/05/1952 Canada Chatham, New Brunswick
Win 32-4 Canada Cobey McCluskey TKO 6 12/07/1951 Canada Moncton, New Brunswick
Win 31-4 Canada Arnold Fleiger KO 2 20/06/1951 Canada Chatham, New Brunswick
NC 31-4 Canada Cobey McCluskey NC 9 05/06/1951 Canada Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Win 30-4 United States Bob Stecher SD 10 23/05/1951 Canada Chatham, New Brunswick
Win 29-4 Canada Tiger Warrington PTS 10 10/12/1950 Canada Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
Win 28-4 Canada Alvin Upshaw KO 7 05/11/1950 Canada Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
Loss 27-4 Canada Cobey McCluskey UD 10 22/10/1950 Canada Springhill, Nova Scotia
Win 27-3 United States Al Couture TKO 6 25/08/1950 Canada Chatham, New Brunswick
Win 26-3 Canada Ossie Farrell KO 1 19/08/1950 Canada Moncton, New Brunswick
Loss 25-3 Canada Cobey McCluskey UD 10 14/08/1950 Canada Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Win 25-2 Canada Tiger Warrington UD 10 01/07/1950 Canada Moncton, New Brunswick
Win 24-2 Coot O'Rea KO 2 18/06/1950 Canada Bathurst, New Brunswick
Win 23-2 Canada Alvin Upshaw TKO 7 23/05/1950 Canada Chatham, New Brunswick
Loss 22-2 Canada Roy Wouters PTS 10 20/01/1950 Canada Halifax, Nova Scotia
Win 22-1 Eddie Hamilton TKO 3 25/11/1949 Canada Chatham, New Brunswick
Win 21-1 United States Bob Stecher UD 10 11/11/1949 Canada Chatham, New Brunswick
Win 20-1 United States Ossie Farrell KO 1 26/10/1949 Canada Chatham, New Brunswick Eastern Canada Middleweight Title.
Win 19-1 United States Bernard McCluskey KO 5 12/10/1949 Canada Chatham, New Brunswick Eastern Canada Middleweight Title.
Win 18-1 Pat Davis KO 2 18/09/1949 Canada Newcastle, New Brunswick
Win 17-1 Canada Bill McLaughlin PTS 8 26/08/1949 Canada Fredericton, New Brunswick
Win 16-1 United States Kid Wolfe PTS 10 07/08/1949 Canada Chatham, New Brunswick
Win 15-1 Canada Billy Landry PTS 8 20/07/1949 Canada Chatham, New Brunswick
Win 14-1 Canada Cobey McCluskey PTS 8 15/07/1949 Canada Newcastle, New Brunswick
Win 13-1 Canada Jimmy Mooney UD 8 06/07/1949 Canada Chatham, New Brunswick New Brunswick Middleweight Title.
Win 12-1 Canada Cobey McCluskey PTS 8 12/06/1949 Canada Baie-Sainte-Anne, New Brunswick
Win 11-1 Joe Tyne KO 1 30/05/1949 Canada Chatham, New Brunswick
Win 10-1 Manuel Leek KO 6 17/05/1949 Canada Fredericton, New Brunswick
Win 9-1 Canada Harry Poulton PTS 8 20/04/1949 Canada Newcastle, New Brunswick
Win 8-1 Canada Harry Poulton PTS 6 23/03/1949 Canada Newcastle, New Brunswick
Win 7-1 Canada Crosley Irvine TKO 3 25/02/1949 Canada Chatham, New Brunswick
Win 6-1 Al Batten KO 5 02/02/1949 Canada Newcastle, New Brunswick
Loss 5-1 Canada Billy Snowball DQ 4 07/12/1948 Canada Tracadie, New Brunswick
Win 5-0 Al Batten PTS 8 03/12/1948 Canada Baie-Sainte-Anne, New Brunswick
Win 4-0 Canada Percy R. Richardson PTS 4 11/11/1948 Canada Chatham, New Brunswick
Win 3-0 Al Fraser PTS 4 13/09/1948 Canada Chatham, New Brunswick
Win 2-0 Al Fraser PTS 4 25/08/1948 Canada Chatham, New Brunswick
Win 1-0 Sonny Ramsay KO 2 28/07/1948 Canada Chatham, New Brunswick

Related works[edit]

Awards and recognition[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Yvon Durelle - Boxer". Boxrec.com. 2007-01-06. Retrieved 2014-06-20. 

External links[edit]

Achievements
Preceded by
Gordon Wallace
Commonwealth Light Heavyweight Champion
May 30, 1957 - 1958
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Chic Calderwood