The Merseyside Former Boxers’ Association has set itself the task of recording and preserving the proud history of Merseyside boxing.
Merseyside, in common with other industrial areas of Britain, has produced some of Britain’s finest boxers. Prior to the opening of Pudsey Street, the first Liverpool Stadium, in 1911, boxers such as Punch Vaughan and Ike Bradley thrilled boxing crowds up and down the country. In the inter war years Liverpool boxers came to greater prominence especially following the opening of the second Liverpool Stadium in 1932. Boxers such as Nel Tarleton, the first Liverpool boxer to win the Lonsdale Belt, and Ernie Roderick, regularly boxed for British and world titles both in the city and nationally. In the post war period Merseyside’s long line of champions ensured that the region has remained one of Britain’s most important boxing regions. Boxers such as Pat McAteer, Johnny Cooke, Alan Rudkin, Joey Singleton and John Conteh have all won or brought home to Merseyside World, European, Commonwealth and British titles.
Presently boxers such as Paul Smith, Derry Matthews and Tony Bellew are upholding this fine tradition. Their stories, among many others, can be found on the pages of this web site.
Liverpool Football Club
When Pudsey Street Closed in 1931 Liverpool was left without a major boxing venue. In the period between its closure and opening of the Liverpool Stadium in October 1932 Johnny Best promoted major boxing tournaments at Anfield, the home of Liverpool Football Club. The first major contest to be held there, 1 October 1931, was the British Featherweight title fight between the champion Johnny Cuthbert and Nel Tarleton. Tarleton won the contest on points over 15 rounds to become the first Liverpool boxer to win a Lonsdale Belt. Boxing continued at Anfield until March 1949: the last major show featured Stan Rowan who defeated Jackie Paterson to win the British Bantamweight title.