Billy Petrolle

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Billy Petrolle
Billy Petrolle.jpeg
Statistics
Real name William Michael Petrolle
Nickname(s) The Fargo Express
Rated at Lightweight
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Reach 70 in (178 cm)
Nationality United States American
Born (1905-01-10)January 10, 1905
Berwick, Pennsylvania, United States
Died May 14, 1983(1983-05-14) (aged 78)
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 165
Wins 123
Wins by KO 66
Losses 26
Draws 15
No contests 0

William "Billy" Michael Petrolle (January 10, 1905 – May 14, 1983) was a world lightweight boxing title contender. Boxing ran in the Petrolle family as his brothers Pete and Frank also shared his occupation.[1] Statistical boxing website BoxRec lists Petrolle as the #18 ranked lightweight of all-time.[2] Petrolle is member of the Minnesota Boxing Hall of Fame, the Ring Magazine Hall of Fame, the World Boxing Hall of Fame, and the International Boxing Hall of Fame.[3][4]

Professional career[edit]

Nicknamed "The Fargo Express", Petrolle is perhaps best known for challenging World Lightweight Title holder Tony Canzoneri. In 1932 the two met for the World Lightweight Title, and Canzoneri was "squarely at his peak: a Canzoneri so magnificently conditioned, so beautifully attuned that even the old-timers at the ringside admitted he was worthy to stand alongside the lightweight giants of the past." (United Press). Petrolle dropped a decision in the bout at Madison Square Garden.[5]

Life after boxing[edit]

Petrolle retired during the Great Depression with $200,000 and an iron foundry in Duluth, Minnesota. He later owned a religious goods and gift shop in Duluth, and was the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Pioneer National Bank.[1]

Honors[edit]

Petrolle has graced the covers of The Ring Magazine in May 1927, March 1931, and May 1932. An article on him appeared in the July 2008 issue.[1]

Petrolle is mentioned in the novel Catch-22 during the trial of Clevinger. The quote reads "In sixty days you'll be fighting Billy Petrolle," the colonel with the big fat mustache roared. "And you think it's a big fat joke."[6] In this context "fighting Billy Petrolle" was a metaphor for facing combat in World War II.

Notable bouts[edit]

Result Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location Notes[7]
Loss United States Barney Ross UD 10 1934-01-24 United States New York Coliseum, Bronx, New York
Loss United States Barney Ross UD 10 1933-03-22 United States Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois
Loss United States Tony Canzoneri UD 15 1932-11-04 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York For World Lightweight Title.
Win United States Battling Battalino UD 10 1932-05-20 United States Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois
Win United States Battling Battalino TKO 12 (12) 1932-03-24 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Loss Canada Jimmy McLarnin UD 10 1931-08-20 United States Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
Loss Canada Jimmy McLarnin UD 10 1931-05-27 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win Canada Jimmy McLarnin UD 10 1930-11-21 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Loss United Kingdom Kid Berg UD 10 1930-10-10 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win United States Tony Canzoneri PTS 10 1930-09-11 United States Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois
Win United Kingdom Kid Berg TKO 5 (10) 1928-08-24 United States Mills Stadium, Chicago, Illinois
Draw United Kingdom Kid Berg PTS 10 1928-07-26 United States Mills Stadium, Chicago, Illinois
Loss United States Sammy Mandell NWS 10 1928-01-13 United States Minneapolis Auditorium, Minneapolis, Minnesota Newspaper Decision
Loss United States Sid Terris PTS 10 1926-06-11 United States Coney Island Stadium, Brooklyn, New York
Loss United States Kid Kaplan PTS 12 1926-03-01 United States Foot Guard Hall, Hartford, Connecticut

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c BoxRec Biography - Billy Petrolle BoxRec.com Retrieved on 2014-04-30
  2. ^ All-Time Lightweight Rankings BoxRec.com. Retrieved on 2014-04-11.
  3. ^ Minnesota Boxing Hall of Fame - Billy Petrolle Archived May 31, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. MNBHOF.org Retrieved on 2014-04-30
  4. ^ International Boxing Hall of Fame - Billy Petrolle IBHOF.com Retrieved on 2014-04-05
  5. ^ "Billy Petrolle: The Fargo Express at Full Steam". Boxing.com. 2013-07-24. Retrieved 2014-05-30. 
  6. ^ "Catch-22 - you'll be fighting Billy Petrolle". Book Drum. Retrieved 2014-05-30. 
  7. ^ Billy Petrolle's Professional Boxing Record. BoxRec.com. Retrieved on 2014-05-18.

External links[edit]