Len Harvey

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Len Harvey
Len Harvey 1.jpg
Statistics
Real nameLeonard Austen Harvey
Weight(s) Flyweight
Bantamweight
Featherweight
Lightweight
Welterweight
Middleweight
Light Heavyweight
Heavyweight
Height6 ft (183 cm)
Reach73 12 in (187 cm)
NationalityBritish
Born(1907-07-11)11 July 1907
Stoke Climsland, Kernow/Cornwall
Died28 November 1976(1976-11-28) (aged 69)
Boxing record
Total fights140
Wins122
Wins by KO57
Losses14
Draws10

Leonard Austen "Len" Harvey (11 July 1907 – 28 November 1976) was a Cornish boxer. A great defensive boxer, he boxed at every weight division available at the time, from flyweight to heavyweight. He became the light-heavyweight and heavyweight champion of the British Empire, and was recognised as world light-heavyweight champion in Britain from 1939–42.

Contents

Early career

British middleweight champion

Born in Stoke Climsland, Cornwall, Len Harvey started out as a flyweight at 12. By the time he was 18 he was ready to fight for the British welterweight title. He was held to a draw though by Harry Mason on 29 April 1926. His next British title shot came 2 years later on 16 May 1929. This time at middleweight against Alex Ireland. Harvey knocked out his opponent in the seventh round to become British champion. He made six defences between 1929 and 1933. He also fought Marcel Thil of France for the world middleweight championship. He lost on points in a close decision.

British light heavyweight and heavyweight champion

On 10 April 1933, he defended his title against Jock McAvoy. This ended in defeat for Harvey but two months later he was in the ring again challenging Eddie Phillips and won on points to become British Light Heavyweight champion. On 30 November that year he beat the then unbeaten Jack Petersen to become the British Heavyweight champion. He then went on to beat Canada's Larry Gains to become British Empire champion, but lost both titles in a rematch with Petersen being stopped in the 12th round on cuts. Harvey then went on to fight for the world title on 9 November 1936, but was beaten on points by John Henry Lewis. He then regained the British Heavyweight title by disqualification against old foe Eddie Phillips. In 1938 John Henry Lewis retired after developing eye problems, Harvey was then matched with another old foe Jock McAvoy for British recognition of the world championship at Harringay Arena. This time he won on points on 10 July 1939.

Later career and death

During the Second World War Harvey joined the Royal Air Force. He was seen in the eyes of the public as a national sporting idol and was given an officer rank. During this time he was persuaded to defend his titles against Freddie Mills on 20 June 1942. Harvey was a veteran of over a hundred bouts and was 35 years old. He was knocked out in two rounds, only the second time he was stopped and the first by K.O. He retired after this bout. He had an official record of 146 fights, 122 wins, 10 draws and 14 defeats: he claimed to have had 418 fights, but they probably included booth fights. His four fights with Jock McAvoy were legendary; he won three and lost one. He later died in Plymouth on 28 November 1976 of a heart attack relaxing at his home and commenting to his wife he was feeling ill. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2008.

Notable bouts

ResultOpponentTypeRd., TimeDateLocationNotes [1]
Loss Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Freddie Mills KO2 (15)1942-06-20 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg White Hart Lane, Tottenham, London
Win Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Jock McAvoy PTS151939-07-10 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg White City Stadium, White City, London
Win Canadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg Larry Gains TKO13 (15)1939-03-16 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Harringay Arena, Harringay, London
Win Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Jock McAvoy PTS151938-04-07 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Harringay Arena, Harringay, London
Loss Flag of the United States.svg John Henry Lewis PTS151936-11-09 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Empire Pool, Wembley, London
Loss Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Jack Petersen PTS151936-01-29 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Empire Pool, Wembley, London
Draw Flag of Germany (1935-1945).svg Walter Neusel PTS121934-11-26 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London
Win Canadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg Larry Gains PTS151934-02-08 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London
Win Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Jack Petersen PTS151933-11-30 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London
Loss Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Jock McAvoy PTS151933-04-10 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Belle Vue Zoological Gardens, Manchester, Lancashire
Loss Flag of France.svg Marcel Thil PTS151932-07-04 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg White City Stadium, White City, London
Win Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Len Johnson PTS151932-05-11 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London
Win Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Jock McAvoy PTS151932-03-21 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Belle Vue Zoological Gardens, Manchester, Lancashire
Loss Flag of the United States.svg Ben Jeby UD121931-03-20 Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City
Loss Flag of the United States.svg Vince Dundee SD121931-02-13 Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City
Loss Flag of the United States.svg Vince Dundee UD121931-01-09 Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City
Win Flag of the United States.svg Dave Shade PTS151930-09-29 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London
Win Flag of Scotland.svg Alexander Ireland KO7 (15)1929-05-16 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Olympia, Kensington, London
Win Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Frank Moody TKO6 (10)1929-02-21 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg The Crystal Palace, Sydenham, London
Win Flag of France.svg Marcel Thil PTS151927-12-12 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Holland Park Rink, Kensington, London
Loss Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Len Johnson PTS201927-01-03 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg The Ring, Southwark, London

See also

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References

  1. Len Harvey's Professional Boxing Record. BoxRec.com. Retrieved on 18 May 2014.

Further reading

Achievements
Preceded by
Alexander Ireland
British Middleweight Champion
16 May 1929 – 10 April 1933
Succeeded by
Jock McAvoy
Commonwealth Middleweight Champion
16 May 1929 – 10 April 1933
Preceded by
Jack Petersen
British Heavyweight Champion
30 November 1933 – 4 June 1934
Succeeded by
Jack Petersen
Preceded by
Larry Gains
Commonwealth Heavyweight Champion
8 February 1934 – 4 June 1934
Preceded by
Jock McAvoy
British Light Heavyweight Champion
7 April 1938 – 20 June 1942
Succeeded by
Freddie Mills
Vacant
Title last held by
Gipsy Daniels
Commonwealth Light Heavyweight Champion
10 July 1939 – 20 June 1942
Vacant
Title last held by
Tommy Farr
British Heavyweight Champion
1 December 1938 – 21 November 1942
Retired
Succeeded by
Jack London
Commonwealth Heavyweight Champion
16 March 1939 – 21 November 1942
Retired
Titles in pretence
Vacant
Title last held by
Joe Choynski
World Light Heavyweight Champion
BBBC recognition

10 July 1939 – 20 June 1942
Vacant