THEY represent a golden era in boxing and the memories of past deeds and battles fought came flooding back during a reunion at the Exies Club last Saturday.
Emcee of the evening and former pugilist Billy Calabria said the night was a tremendous success, adding the night clearly meant the world to the 50 former fighters who travelled from across the country.
“It’s been in the works for years but nobody was able to make an effort to put it together, and we had people from Queensland, Canberra, Victoria, probably 90 per cent of them came,” Calabria said.
“So it just showed how much they all thought of the Griffith PCYC and the boxing there, because it really helped put us on the map and be one of the strongest teams in country New South Wales.
“So the night was for all ex-boxers in general, but PCYC was where it all happened early on.
“I was just a kid when I went there in about 1961 and because it started way back then, it was that sort of generation that’s still alive and understood what happened.
“So that’s why it was very important to get this reunion together, because some of these guys won’t be around much longer.
“We also mentioned the names and dedicated the night to some of the boxers who had passed, because we had many great champions from the area.”
Calabria said the sport was the cornerstone for later success in life for many, saying the lessons of discipline taught under the PCYC banner put them on the right path.
“This was a roadmap to their careers and made them become better people away from boxing,” he said.
“It was unbelievable the respect the guys had for everything, there was at least five or six guys who teared up when speaking to the rest of the guys there.”