Olympic Boxing memories

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With the London Olympics only weeks away, memories of boxing to compete for Britain in the last London Olympic Games in 1948 have been recalled by Audlem resident Harry Knapper.

As a previous article on Audlem Online revealed, Harry, now in his eighties, was a fine young boxer who held a number of titles.

In 1948, aspiring boxers competed in the ABA championship with the winner of each weight in the Northern Counties qualifying for Britain in the Olympic competition.

Harry was a Welterweight and made it through to the semi-finals for the Northern Counties where, unfortunately, he lost to Norman Spink.

Unfortunately may not, however, be quite the right word. According to Harry, Spink then came up against a phenomenal and fully mature 29-year old boxer in the final going by the wonderful name of Maximilian Baldwin "Max" Shacklady.

By all accounts, Max Shacklady gave Norman Spink a right pounding. Harry wonders how, as a 17-year old, he would have stood up to Shacklady, known as the 'Eccles Steamroller', at his best.

Max Shacklady went on to represent Britian in the Olympics where he lost by a somewhat disputed result to Antonio Dias of Spain.

Disillusioned, he gave up boxing and became a wrestler, a sport in which Shacklady's father had seen much success.

Harry, we are pleased to report, remains a keen boxing fan to this day, sixty four years on from the 1948 Olympic Games. 

 

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