Joe Erskine (Welsh boxer)
- 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) 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.
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 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.
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.
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, while Chuvalo claimed he was retaliating for getting thumbed in the eye by Joe.
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 3 March 1964, Erskine fought Jack Bodell, a British champion of the future, and defeated him on points over ten rounds.
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
|45 Wins (13 knockouts, 32 decisions), 8 Losses (6 knockouts, 2 decisions), 1 Draw |
|Loss||12-3-1||Billy "Golden Boy" Walker||PTS||10||27 Oct 1964||Empire Pool, Wembley, London|
|Win||24-3-2||Johnny Prescott||PTS||10||21 Apr 1964||Embassy Sportsdrome, Birmingham, West Midlands|
|Win||15-3||Jack Bodell||PTS||10||3 Mar 1964||Granby Halls, Leicester, Leicestershire|
|Loss||37-2-1||Karl Mildenberger||PTS||10||13 Oct 1963||Westfalenhallen, Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia|
|Win||19-15-2||Freddie Mack||PTS||10||10 Aug 1963||Pavilion, Newtown, Powys|
|Win||3-3||Ray Cillien||TKO||4||29 Jul 1963||Cardiff Drill Hall, Cardiff|
|Win||10-11||Alex Barrow||KO||7||12 Dec 1962||Tower Circus, Blackpool, Lancashire|
|Win||18-18-4||Jose Mariano Moracia Ibanes||PTS||10||20 Nov 1962||Leicester, Leicestershire|
|Loss||25-8-1||Henry Cooper||TKO||9||2 Apr 1962||Nottingham Ice Stadium, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire||Commonwealth/BBBofC Heavyweight Titles.|
|Win||20-6-1||George Chuvalo||DQ||5||2 Oct 1961||Toronto, Ontario||Chuvalo disqualified at 1:27 of the fifth round for headbutting.|
|Loss||22-7-1||Henry Cooper||TKO||5||21 Mar 1961||Empire Pool, Wembley, London||Commonwealth/BBBofC Heavyweight Titles.|
|Win||20-4-6||Ulli Ritter||PTS||10||24 Jan 1961||Granby Halls, Leicester, Leicestershire|
|Win||30-21-6||José González Sales||TKO||5||22 Sep 1960||Sophia Gardens, Cardiff|
|Loss||19-7-1||Henry Cooper||TKO||12||17 Nov 1959||Earls Court Arena, Kensington, London||BBBofC/Commonwealth Heavyweight Titles.|
|Win||24-1-1||Bruno Scarabellin||PTS||10||26 Aug 1959||Coney Beach Pleasure Park, Porthcawl|
|Win||27-8-2||Dick Richardson||PTS||10||24 Jun 1959||Coney Beach Pleasure Park, Porthcawl|
|Win||47-6-5||Willie Pastrano||PTS||10||24 Feb 1959||Empire Exhibition Stadium, Wembley, London|
|Win||9-3-1||Max Brianto||PTS||10||12 Nov 1958||Maindy Stadium, Cardiff|
|Loss||20-3||Brian London||KO||8||3 Jun 1958||White City Stadium, White City, London||BBBofC/Commonwealth Heavyweight Titles.|
|Loss||18-0||Ingemar Johansson||TKO||13||21 Feb 1958||Masshallen, Gothenburg||EBU Heavyweight Title.|
|Win||36-10-1||Joe Bygraves||PTS||15||25 Nov 1957||Granby Halls, Leicester, Leicestershire||Commonwealth Heavyweight Title.|
|Win||14-5||Henry Cooper||PTS||15||17 Sep 1957||Harringay Arena, Harringay, London||Commonwealth/BBBofC Heavyweight Titles.|
|Win||23-7-1||Peter Bates||PTS||12||28 May 1957||Doncaster Racecourse, Doncaster, Yorkshire|
|Loss||37-14-3||Nino Valdes||KO||1||19 Feb 1957||Earls Court Arena, Kensington, London||Erskine knocked out at 2:03 of the first round.|
|Win||60-9-4||Johnny Williams||PTS||15||27 Aug 1956||Maindy Stadium, Cardiff||BBBofC Heavyweight Title.|
|Win||17-2-1||Dick Richardson||PTS||10||7 May 1956||Maindy Stadium, Cardiff|
|Win||17-13-8||Guenter Nurnberg||PTS||10||19 Mar 1956||Carmarthen Market Hall, Carmarthen|
|Win||33-7-1||Marcel Limage||PTS||10||16 Jan 1956||Maindy Stadium, Cardiff|
|Win||11-1||Henry Cooper||PTS||10||15 Nov 1955||Harringay Arena, Harringay, London||BBBofC Heavyweight Title Eliminator.|
|Win||8-11-2||Bernard Verdoolaeghe||TKO||2||10 Oct 1955||Sophia Gardens, Cardiff|
|Win||9-1||Antonio Crosia||KO||8||13 Sep 1955||White City Stadium, White City, London|
|Win||17-9-6||Uber Bacilieri||PTS||10||29 Aug 1955||Maindy Stadium, Cardiff|
|Win||10-3||Henk de Voogd||KO||1||18 Jul 1955||Maindy Stadium, Cardiff|
|Win||16-19-2||Ansell Adams||PTS||10||9 May 1955||Granby Halls, Leicester, Leicestershire|
|Win||21-22-3||Simon Templar||TKO||8||26 Apr 1955||Harringay Arena, Harringay, London|
|Win||16-2||Peter Bates||PTS||10||15 Mar 1955||Embassy Rink, Birmingham, West Midlands|
|Win||8-7||Joe Crickmar||PTS||8||28 Feb 1955||Granby Halls, Leicester, Leicestershire|
|Win||14-11-1||Cliff Purnell||PTS||8||15 Feb 1955||Embassy Sportsdrome, Birmingham, West Midlands|
|Win||4-14-3||Hugh McDonald||TKO||6||1 Feb 1955||Willenhall Drill Hall, Willenhall, West Midlands|
|Win||13-8-1||Cliff Purnell||PTS||8||7 Dec 1954||Town Hall, Walsall, West Midlands|
|Win||1-2||Jack Walker||KO||1||8 Nov 1954||Granby Halls, Leicester, Leicestershire|
|Win||12-9||Morrie Bush||PTS||8||11 Oct 1954||Haverfordwest Market Hall, Haverfordwest|
|Win||4-7||Dennis Lockton||PTS||6||28 Sep 1954||Olympia Skating Rink, Hanley, Staffordshire|
|Win||18-4||Jimmy Moran||PTS||6||14 Sep 1954||Sheffield, Yorkshire|
|Win||3-2||Denny Ball||PTS||6||19 Jul 1954||Ninian Park, Cardiff|
|Win||--||Joe Farley||KO||2||1 Jun 1954||White City Stadium, White City, London||Novice Tournament.|
|Win||1-0||Eddie Keith||KO||2||1 Jun 1954||White City Stadium, White City, London||Novice Tournament.|
|Win||2-1||Denny Ball||PTS||3||1 Jun 1954||White City Stadium, White City, London||Novice Tournament.|
|Win||3-3||Mick Cowan||PTS||6||11 May 1954||Earls Court Arena, Kensington, London|
|Win||7-6-4||Frank Walshaw||PTS||6||1 May 1954||Newtown Drill Hall, Newtown, Powys|
|Draw||5-12-1||Dinny Powell||PTS||6||12 Apr 1954||Maindy Stadium, Cardiff|
|Win||5-5||Frank Walker||DQ||5||22 Mar 1954||Embassy Sportsdrome, Birmingham, West Midlands|
|Win||1-0||Tommy Rogers||KO||2||16 Mar 1954||Willenhall Drill Hall, Willenhall, West Midlands|
|Win||15-8-1||Alf Price||KO||2||9 Mar 1954||Olympia Skating Rink, Hanley, Staffordshire|
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.
- A photo of Joe Erskine's headstone noting his date of death as 18 Feb 1990
- I only talk winning; Angelo Dundee
|BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year