|Real name||Charles Duane Burley|
|Weight(s)|| Middleweight |
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Born||September 6, 1917|
|Died||October 16, 1992 75)(aged|
|Wins by KO||50|
Charley Burley (September 6, 1917 – October 16, 1992) was an American boxer who fought as a welterweight and middleweight from 1936 to 1950. Archie Moore, the light-heavyweight champion who was defeated by Burley in a 1944 middleweight bout, was one of several fighters who called Burley the greatest fighter ever.Burley was the penultimate holder of both the World Colored Welterweight Championship and the World Colored Middleweight Championship.
He was born Charles Duane Burley in Bessemer, Pennsylvania on September 6, 1917 to a mixed-race couple: his father was a black coal miner and his mother a white Irish immigrant from County Cork.Raised in Bessemer, the only son of seven children, the family moved to Pittsburgh when his father was killed in an industrial accident in 1925.
He began boxing at the age of 12 at a Boys Club and, as a lightweight, won city, state and national junior boxing titles and a Golden Gloves junior title. As a welterweight, he won a Golden Gloves Senior and lost the 1936 National Senior Championship finals. That same year, he refused an invitation to participate in the Olympic trials due to his objection to the Nazi regime. He did accept an invitation to attend a scheduled 'Workers Games' to be held in Republican Spain as a protest to the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics, but the games were cancelled by the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War.
Burley had also excelled at baseball. He reportedly was offered a contract by the Homestead Grays, the local Negro leagues franchise.
The 5'9 ½ Burley fought at weights between 145 and 162 lbs. He made his pro debut on September 29, 1936, fighting as a welterweight at 150¾ lbs., at Pittsburgh's Moose Temple. He knocked out George Liggins in the fourth round of a four-round bout. Less than two years later, on August 22, 1938, Burley met the Cocoa Kid at Hickey Park in Millvale, Pennsylvania for the World Colored Welterweight Championship. He won a unanimous decision in the 15-round bout, knocking the Kid to the canvas three times and defeating him decisively, taking his title.
Burley did not defend that title, possibly as part of a strategy to win a shot at Henry Armstrong's World Welterweight title. He won the World Colored Middleweight Title in a ninth round technical knockout against Holman Williams at Victory Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana on 14 August 1942. In their rematch for the title two months later at the same venue, Williams won a 15-round decision. Jack Kincaid of the Times-Picayune reported that Burley had won nine rounds of the fight and had been the aggressor throughout.
Burley was never granted a world title shot by any of the world welterweight and world middleweight champions of his era and was avoided by many of the top white contenders. Among the fighters who "ducked" Burley were Hall of Famers Billy Conn (who fought Joe Louis for the heavyweight title), Frenchman Marcel Cerdan (who was supposed to face Burley in his American debut) and even Sugar Ray Robinson, considered by many boxing historians as the best pound-for-pound fighter of all time.
Of course, not everyone ducked the slick Pittsburgh warrior. Burley won two out of three matches against future welterweight champion Fritzie Zivic, defeated the great Archie Moore by decision, and easily defeated future NYSAC middleweight king Billy Soose. Burley also faced future heavyweight champion Ezzard Charles, but dropped two 10-round decisions to him (the bouts were contested within a five-week period, sandwiching a fight against Williams). Another notable Burley fight was the one against heavyweight J.D. Turner, who outweighed him by around 70 lbs. "Turner, face beaten to raw beefsteak in six rounds, failed to answer the bell for the seventh." (The Ring, June 1942).
Burley himself was never stopped in 98 bouts. He compiled a record of 83 wins (50 by knockout) against 12 losses and two draws with 1 "no contest". He also battled financial problems at times during his career (which is why he's thought to have lost some of the fights he did) and was forced to work as an aircraft mechanic and garbage man in order to earn enough money to live off.
Burley's second fight with Oakland Billy Smith in 1946 is the only known boxing film for him that is known to exist. It shows a conservative counter-puncher taming a much larger opponent with relative ease.
Burley's former sparring partner A.J. "Blackie" Nelson offers this comparison: "I see a lot of Charley in this kid, Roy Jones Jr. Both had unorthodox styles, could hit you from any angle, both hard to hit. Charley jabbed more than Jones, if Jones would concentrate on boxing as Charley did, he would become an all-time great."
Eddie Futch, the great trainer, called Burley "the finest all-around fighter I ever saw."
Burley was named to the Ring Magazine's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time, elected to the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1983 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1992.
Burley was ranked 39th on Ring Magazine's list of the 80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years.
An exhibit at the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum at Pittsburgh's Senator Heinz History Center states that Burley was the model for the character Troy in August Wilson's play Fences .
|98 fights||83 wins||12 losses|
|98||Win||83–12–2 (1)||Pilar Bastidas||PTS||10||Jul 22, 1950||Plaza de Toros de Acho, Lima, Peru|
|97||Win||82–12–2 (1)||Buddy Hodnett||KO||6 (8)||Mar 2, 1950||Aragon Gardens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|96||Win||81–12–2 (1)||Chuck Higgins||KO||1 (8)||Feb 2, 1950||Aragon Gardens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|95||Win||80–12–2 (1)||Willie Wright||PTS||8||Jul 25, 1949||Zivic Arena, Millvale, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|94||Loss||79–12–2 (1)||Charley Doc Williams||PTS||10||Apr 3, 1949||Coliseum Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.|
|93||Win||79–11–2 (1)||Lonnie Craft||KO||3 (6)||Mar 24, 1948||Huntington, West Virginia, U.S.|
|92||Win||78–11–2 (1)||Larry Cartwright||TKO||8 (10)||Aug 8, 1947||Huntington, West Virginia, U.S.|
|91||Loss||77–11–2 (1)||Bert Lytell||UD||10||Feb 17, 1947||Coliseum, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.|
|90||Win||77–10–2 (1)||Bert Lytell||UD||10||Aug 5, 1946||Zivic Arena, Millvale, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|89||Win||76–10–2 (1)||Charley Banks||PTS||10||Jul 16, 1946||Zivic Arena, Millvale, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|88||Win||75–10–2 (1)||Oakland Billy Smith||PTS||10||Apr 24, 1946||Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, California, U.S.|
|87||Win||74–10–2 (1)||Paulie Peters||TKO||2 (10)||Apr 8, 1946||Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, California, U.S.|
|86||Win||73–10–2 (1)||Charley Dodson||TKO||3 (10)||Mar 14, 1946||Aragon Gardens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|85||Win||72–10–2 (1)||Oakland Billy Smith||PTS||10||Oct 8, 1945||Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, California, U.S.|
|84||Win||71–10–2 (1)||Speedy Duvall||KO||4 (10)||Sep 28, 1945||Coliseum Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.|
|83||Win||70–10–2 (1)||Dave Clark||KO||1 (10)||Sep 4, 1945||Music Hall Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.|
|82||Win||69–10–2 (1)||Aaron Wade||UD||10||Aug 20, 1945||Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|81||Win||68–10–2 (1)||Oscar Boyd||KO||2 (8)||Jul 26, 1945||Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|80||Loss||67–10–2 (1)||Holman Williams||UD||12||Jul 11, 1945||Civic Stadium, Buffalo, New York, U.S.|
|79||Win||67–9–2 (1)||Joe Carter||UD||10||Mar 12, 1945||Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, California, U.S.|
|78||Win||66–9–2 (1)||Jack Chase||TKO||12 (15)||Sep 11, 1944||Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, California, U.S.||Retained USA California state middleweight title|
|77||Win||65–9–2 (1)||Young Gene Buffalo||TKO||5 (10)||Aug 28, 1944||Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, California, U.S.|
|76||Win||64–9–2 (1)||Frankie Nelson||TKO||7 (10)||Jun 23, 1944||Legion Stadium, Hollywood, California, U.S.|
|75||Win||63–9–2 (1)||Al Gilbert||TKO||4 (10)||May 12, 1944||Coliseum, San Diego, California, U.S.|
|74||Win||62–9–2 (1)||Archie Moore||PTS||10||Apr 21, 1944||Legion Stadium, Hollywood, California, U.S.|
|73||Win||61–9–2 (1)||Jack Chase||KO||9 (15)||Apr 6, 1944||Legion Stadium, Hollywood, California, U.S.||Won USA California state middleweight title|
|72||Win||60–9–2 (1)||Aaron Wade||PTS||10||Mar 24, 1944||Coliseum, San Diego, California, U.S.|
|71||Win||59–9–2 (1)||Bobby Berger||KO||5 (10)||Mar 3, 1944||Coliseum, San Diego, California, U.S.|
|70||Win||58–9–2 (1)||Bobby Birch||PTS||10||Jun 26, 1943||Lane Field, San Diego, California, U.S.|
|69||NC||57–9–2 (1)||Herbert Lewis Hardwick||NC||10 (10)||May 14, 1943||Legion Stadium, Hollywood, California, U.S.||The referee declared the fight no contest after one minute of the 10th round because of inactivity|
|68||Draw||57–9–2||Herbert Lewis Hardwick||PTS||10||Apr 19, 1943||Pelican Stadium, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.|
|67||Win||57–9–1||Aaron Wade||PTS||10||Mar 3, 1943||Auditorium, Oakland, California, U.S.|
|66||Win||56–9–1||Jack Chase||UD||10||Feb 19, 1943||Legion Stadium, Hollywood, California, U.S.|
|65||Win||55–9–1||Harvey Massey||TKO||9 (10)||Feb 3, 1943||Auditorium, Oakland, California, U.S.|
|64||Loss||54–9–1||Lloyd Marshall||SD||10||Dec 11, 1942||Legion Stadium, Hollywood, California, U.S.|
|63||Win||54–8–1||Cecilio Lozada||TKO||2 (10)||Nov 13, 1942||Coliseum, San Diego, California, U.S.|
|62||Loss||53–8–1||Holman Williams||UD||15||Oct 16, 1942||Municipal Auditorium, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.||Lost world colored middleweight title|
|61||Win||53–7–1||Holman Williams||TKO||9 (15)||Aug 14, 1942||Victory Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.||Won vacant world colored middleweight title|
|60||Loss||52–7–1||Ezzard Charles||UD||10||Jun 29, 1942||Hickey Park, Millvale, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|59||Win||52–6–1||Holman Williams||PTS||10||Jun 23, 1942||Crosley Field, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.|
|58||Loss||51–6–1||Ezzard Charles||UD||10||May 25, 1942||Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|57||Win||51–5–1||George Wilson||KO||2 (10)||Apr 30, 1942||Armory, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.|
|56||Win||50–5–1||Joe Sutka||KO||4 (8)||Apr 24, 1942||Coliseum, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|55||Win||49–5–1||Phil McQuillan||KO||1 (8)||Apr 20, 1942||St. Nicholas Arena, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|54||Win||48–5–1||Cleo McNeal||KO||5 (10)||Apr 9, 1942||Armory, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.|
|53||Win||47–5–1||Jay D Turner||TKO||7 (10)||Mar 13, 1942||Armory, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.|
|52||Win||46–5–1||Holman Williams||UD||10||Feb 26, 1942||Armory, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.|
|51||Win||45–5–1||Shorty Hogue||RTD||6 (10)||Feb 13, 1942||Coliseum, San Diego, California, U.S.|
|50||Win||44–5–1||Milo Theodorescu||TKO||4 (10)||Feb 6, 1942||Coliseum, San Diego, California, U.S.|
|49||Win||43–5–1||Jackie Burke||TKO||5 (10)||Jan 23, 1942||Armory, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.|
|48||Win||42–5–1||Shorty Hogue||TKO||10 (10)||Jan 9, 1942||Armory, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.|
|47||Win||41–5–1||Jerry Hayes||KO||4 (10)||Dec 23, 1941||City Auditorium, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, U.S.|
|46||Win||40–5–1||Ted Morrison||TKO||2 (8)||Dec 12, 1941||Armory, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.|
|45||Win||39–5–1||Antonio Fernandez||PTS||10||Sep 25, 1941||Convention Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|44||Win||38–5–1||Otto Blackwell||PTS||8||Aug 25, 1941||Gardens, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|43||Win||37–5–1||Young Gene Buffalo||TKO||5 (10)||Jul 14, 1941||Gardens, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|42||Win||36–5–1||Ossie Harris||TKO||9 (10)||Jun 2, 1941||Hickey Park, Millvale, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|41||Win||35–5–1||Eddie Ellis||TKO||5 (8)||Apr 18, 1941||Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.|
|40||Win||34–5–1||Babe Synnott||TKO||5 (8)||Mar 31, 1941||Duquesne Gardens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|39||Win||33–5–1||Vince Pimpinella||PTS||10||Nov 11, 1940||Turner's Arena, Washington, D.C., U.S.|
|38||Win||32–5–1||Ernest Peirce||PTS||10||Oct 17, 1940||Butler Street Sports Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|37||Loss||31–5–1||Jimmy Bivins||UD||10||Sep 3, 1940||Hickey Park, Millvale, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|36||Win||31–4–1||Kenny LaSalle||UD||10||Aug 19, 1940||Hickey Park, Millvale, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|35||Draw||30–4–1||Georgie Abrams||PTS||10||Jul 29, 1940||Hickey Park, Millvale, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|34||Win||30–4||Carl Dell||PTS||10||Jun 17, 1940||Valley Arena, Holyoke, Massachusetts, U.S.|
|33||Win||29–4||Sam Edwards||KO||2 (10)||Apr 26, 1940||Coliseum Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.|
|32||Win||28–4||Baby Kid Chocolate||TKO||5 (10)||Apr 12, 1940||Coliseum Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.|
|31||Win||27–4||Nate Bolden||PTS||10||Feb 12, 1940||Duquesne Gardens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|30||Loss||26–4||Holman Williams||PTS||15||Dec 1, 1939||Coliseum Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.|
|29||Win||26–3||Mickey Makar||KO||1 (10)||Oct 23, 1939||Moose Temple, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|28||Win||25–3||Jimmy Leto||PTS||10||Aug 28, 1939||Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|27||Win||24–3||Fritzie Zivic||UD||10||Jul 17, 1939||Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|26||Loss||23–3||Jimmy Leto||SD||10||Jun 20, 1939||Hickey Park, Millvale, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|25||Win||23–2||Sonny Jones||TKO||7 (12)||Jan 10, 1939||Motor Square Garden, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|24||Win||22–2||Billy Soose||UD||10||Nov 21, 1938||Motor Square Garden, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|23||Win||21–2||Werther Arcelli||KO||1 (10)||Nov 3, 1938||Duquesne Gardens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|22||Win||20–2||Herbert Lewis Hardwick||UD||15||Aug 22, 1938||Hickey Park, Millvale, Pennsylvania, U.S.||Won world colored welterweight title|
|21||Win||19–2||Leon Zorrita||UD||10||Aug 2, 1938||Hickey Park, Millvale, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|20||Win||18–2||Fritzie Zivic||UD||10||Jun 13, 1938||Hickey Park, Millvale, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|19||Win||17–2||Mike Barto||TKO||4 (10)||Jun 1, 1938||Hickey Park, Millvale, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|18||Loss||16–2||Fritzie Zivic||SD||10||Mar 21, 1938||Motor Square Garden, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|17||Win||16–1||Art Tate||KO||2 (6)||Mar 3, 1938||Duquesne Gardens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|16||Win||15–1||Carl Turner||UD||4||Feb 10, 1938||Duquesne Gardens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|15||Win||14–1||Johnny Folio||PTS||4||Feb 3, 1938||Duquesne Gardens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|14||Win||13–1||Tiger Jackson||KO||2 (4)||Jan 27, 1938||Duquesne Gardens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|13||Loss||12–1||Eddie Dolan||UD||8||Sep 9, 1937||Hickey Park, Millvale, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|12||Win||12–0||Sammy Grippe||TKO||6 (8)||Aug 16, 1937||Hickey Park, Millvale, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|11||Win||11–0||Remo Fernandez||TKO||7 (8)||Aug 9, 1937||Hickey Park, Millvale, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|10||Win||10–0||Mickey O'Brien||PTS||10||Jun 24, 1937||Hickey Park, Millvale, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|9||Win||9–0||Keith Goodballet||TKO||2 (8)||May 27, 1937||Duquesne Gardens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|8||Win||8–0||Sammy Grippe||PTS||6||May 3, 1937||Duquesne Gardens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|7||Win||7–0||Ray Gray||PTS||6||Apr 19, 1937||Motor Square Garden, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|6||Win||6–0||Johnny Folio||TKO||5 (8)||Apr 15, 1937||Palisades Rink, McKeesport, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|5||Win||5–0||Ray Collins||TKO||5 (8)||Feb 8, 1937||Oil City, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|4||Win||4–0||Ralph Gizzy||KO||2 (8)||Jan 22, 1937||K. of C. Hall, Oil City, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|3||Win||3–0||Eddie Wirko||TKO||5 (6)||Nov 9, 1936||Moose Lodge, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|2||Win||2–0||Ralph Gizzy||PTS||6||Oct 22, 1936||Duquesne Gardens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|1||Win||1–0||George Liggins||KO||4 (4)||Sep 29, 1936||Moose Temple, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|Awards and achievements|
| World Colored Welterweight Championship |
August 22, 1938 - Unknown
| World Colored Middleweight Championship |
August 14, 1942 - October 16, 1942
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