Chris Edwards set to make boxing history

21.03.07 - On 13th April Stoke’s Chris Edwards will enter the ring at Altrincham Leisure Centre hoping to repeat his victory over Dale Robinson and in doing so secure for himself the British title. Should Edwards prevail he will become the first Potteries based boxer to win a British title since Tommy Harrison won the British bantamweight title by defeating Jim Higgins in June 1922. Incidentally, Harrison also won the British Empire title that day also..

When Edwards stopped Robinson in the 8th round last November to lift the vacant English title it was hailed as one of the biggest shocks of 2006. Robinson had never been stopped previously and had only suffered a reversal in 2 of his 22 contests to that date. Edwards, on the other hand, can still only boast 10 wins from 24 bouts.

However unexpected Edwards’ victory over Robinson was it pales into insignificance when compared to Tommy Harrison’s points defeat of Charles Ledoux in a European title bout which took place in October 1921.

Ledoux is still considered by many to be the greatest boxer ever to have emerged from France and had held the European title since 1912. Furthermore, Ledoux entered the contest with an amazing record of Won 85 Lost 17 Drawn 6; he had however lost his 3 previous bouts. Harrison’s pre-fight ledger read Won 3 Lost 10 Drawn 1. Harrison did have home advantage, the fight taking place in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. Nevertheless, the result must rank as one biggest shocks in boxing history.

Harrison fought Ledoux three times in total, each time for the European title and each time over the marathon distance of 20 rounds. In April 1922 Ledoux scored a points victory over the Potteries fighter and in October of the same year the Frenchman won by a TKO in the 18th round.

Harrison’s last recorded contest was a defence of his British and British Empire titles against ‘Bugler’ Harry Lake on 26th February 1923. He suffered a points defeat over the championship distance of 20 rounds and ended his career with a record of W 6 (2KO’s) L 13 D 1 and died in 1931 aged only 38.

In addition to Harrison North Staffordshire can boast two flyweight legends from the 30’s and 40’s. Contemporaries of each other Stoke’s Tut Whalley and Leek’s Tiny Bostock fought each other in an eliminator for the British Northern Area flyweight title on 14th May 1948 at the Port Vale football ground. Bostock emerged the victor in the 15 round contest winning on points.

Bostock went on to pull off his own major surprise which sent shock waves around the world when, in February 1937, he defeated the world ranked Small Montana on points in a 12 rounder in Manchester. Montana had only just lost the World title in the previous month to Glasgow’s Benny Lynch.

Tiny Bostock ended his career with a record of W 91 (29 KO’s) L 20 D 6, Tut Whalley’s final tally read W 91 (37 KO’s) L 39 D 13. Both Bostock and Whalley went on to write interesting postscripts during retirement:

Whilst in his 80’s Tut Whalley fended off a would-be mugger by producing his final knockout punch and died in 2004 aged 90.

During retirement Bostock acted as matchmaker for the North Staffs Sporting Club and fulfilled the role until he died on 6th December 1979. Tut Whalley attended the funeral.

“My main goal is to beat Dale Robinson and win that British title for myself and the people of Stoke,” said Edwards. “If I also get my name in the history books alongside Tommy Harrison, Tut Whalley and Tiny Bostock then that will be an added bonus.”

Tickets for the 13th April event are available from Impact Boxing on 0845 156 7168 or from their website:

Article posted on 21.03.2007

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