Vic Toweel Dies

Vic Toweel dies in Australia

Vic Toweel former world bantamweight champion and the greatest fighter ever produced in the history of South Boxing passed away in Sydney, Australia on Friday morning at the age of 80. Toweel had settled in Australia some 20 years ago.

Victor Anthony Toweel who was born in Benoni on January 12, 1928 turned professional soon after returning from the 1948 Olympics and 17 months later, after 14 fights, he was undisputed bantamweight champion of the world.

He will always be remembered as the first SA boxer to win a universal world title. Other South Africans have won titles dished out by the “alphabet boxing bodies” during an era of multiple champions.

Viccie was called Dynamite, Benoni’s Mighty Mouse, the Benoni Buzzaw and the White Henry Armstrong.

As an amateur he lost only two of his 300 fights. He won East Rand, Transvaal and SA junior and senior titles from 1941 to 1948 and was No 1 choice for the 1948 Olympic team. In London, however, Arnoldo Pares from Argentina eliminated him in the first round. Critics slammed the decision.

Viccie made his professional debut on 29 January 1949, the same night his brother Jimmy won the national lightweight title by stopping Johannes Landman in the second round.

Two wins inside the distance over Herby Andre and Kalla Persson followed for the short and stocky Viccie, who had slender legs, but unlimited stamina.

In his fourth professional fight Viccie won the SA bantamweight title when veteran Jimmy Webster was disqualified in the third round for holding.

Tony Lombard, an experienced and cunning featherweight who beat 13 champions at various weights during his long career, really tested the rising young star.

They met for the vacant SA featherweight title. Lombard started well but Vic emerged as the winner and new champion. He repeated the victory six weeks later.

Ronnie Clayton, the British and Empire featherweight champion, was offered a title fight against Vic in Johannesburg, but negotiations broke down and Stan Rowan, the British and Empire champion, was offered the fight.

In a one-sided contest Vic became Empire bantamweight champion. He then outclassed former world flyweight champion Jackie Patterson and retained the Empire crown against the Canadian Fernando Gagnon.

Toweel was now the biggest SA draw card, but was troubled by a nose injury that seriously affected his breathing. He had an operation that put him out of action for two months before the Gagnon fight.

Shortly after that promoter Reg Haswell announced that Toweel would challenge 33-year-old Manuel Ortiz, a 111-fight veteran and one of boxing’s great bantamweight champions, for the world crown.

Toweel did miles of roadwork dressed in a special tracksuit made from thick blankets and with layers of tyre tubing wrapped tightly around his hips and torso to help take off excess weight.

Against the odds and after only 13 professional fights, Toweel became undisputed bantamweight champion of the world with a hard-earned points decision over 15 rounds. The victory over Ortiz was rated one of the greatest achievements in SA sports history.

His first defence was against Englishman Danny O’Sullivan, who was stopped in the tenth round after 20 knockdowns — a world record at the time.

Viccie never sidestepped local contenders and knocked out Fanie van Graan in two in defence of his national featherweight title.

Soon after that he stopped Jim Kenny, a Scottish featherweight, in seven and in September 1951 he knocked out another Scot, Bobby Boland, in the first round. He also outscored Frenchman George Mousse over 10 rounds in Port Elizabeth.


Mousse was a tricky opponent and Toweel never really mastered him in their three fights. In the second, in Salisbury, the Frenchman held him to a disputed draw — the first time Viccie did not win a professional bout. A month later, in a clumsy performance, he edged out the Frenchman.

In possibly the best performance of his career he retained his world title for the second time against Luis Romero, a powerfully built Spanish southpaw, and then had no difficulty retaining his title for the third time in a dull fight against Peter Keenan.

The latter part of 1952 was the beginning of the end for Vic Toweel. He stopped Tony Lombard in the eighth and also stopped Theo Medina, a Frenchman, in Johannesburg before the two unsatisfactory return fights with Mousse.

Next was a title defence against Jimmy Carruthers, a tall Australian southpaw who appeared to be rather amateurish without enough ability to bother the champion.

What most people did not know was the effect weight reducing was beginning to have on Toweel, who also suffered from double vision.

Carruthers suffered a septic toe and the fight had to be postponed. After the delay, Toweel looked poorly at the weigh-in, his face pale and drawn.

The fight lasted only 2 minute 19 seconds. The champion was smashed to his knees by a large number of blows and counted out by referee Willie Smith.

Carruthers gave Toweel a return match on 21 March 1953 and a crowd of 35 000 saw him holding his own until the sixth round, when he began to fade. He was counted out in the tenth.

Vic’s eyes were still giving him trouble and he went to London where a successful operation was performed.
On his return he announced that he would continue fighting as a featherweight. On 11 December 1953 he outpointed British featherweight champion Ronnie Clayton before losing on points to highly regarded Carmelo Costa in New York.

On 6 November 1953 Vic had his last fight, in the welterweight division, when he stopped Harry Walker in the eighth.

After years of battling with his weight and only two months short of his 27th birthday, he decided to hang up his gloves. So ended the career of possibly the greatest SA fighter of all time. His professional record was 28-3-1 (14).

Но ковер внизу, вместе с остальными телами.

Мысль, что невольники Безансонов находятся на нашем пароходе, успокоила меня.

Пришлось остановиться на "игра шарики зуме бесплатно" том, что думать об этом бесполезно.

Он переходил от одного вождя к другому, как национальное достояние.

И тут он вдруг увидел, что его усилия совсем или почти совсем "воспитательный план скачать воспитательный план скачать" бесполезны.

Онэ сегодня вечером уезжает с угольным эшелоном в Город.

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