Brazier v Wellby back on, One In A Million to Honor Bodak
04.12.03 - As the big Holiday Boxing Bash draws near, promoter Octavious James has announced that all-time great boxing cut-man and teacher Chuck Bodak will be honored in the ring before the main event Friday at the Omega Sports Complex here. "We are absolutely thrilled to have Chuck Bodak at our show. He has earned the right to be called a legend," said James.
Article posted on 04.12.2003
Bodak, a native of nearby Gary, has worked with the some of the greatest fighters in the world including Muhammad Ali, Tommy Hearns, Julio Cesar Chavez, and Oscar dela Hoya. However, Bodak began as a boxer himself way back in the 1920's in Gary, before starting a highly successful amateur program. Bodack soon was in demand as a teacher and cornerman for area fighters. He does not like to be called a trainer, being of the opinion that dogs have trainers, Bodak refers to himself as a teacher. Chuck was born June 3,1916 in Gary, Indiana. The third of nine children of immigrant parents. During his amateur career, Chuck had 104 fight and was runner up to Frankie Judge of Gary in the 1934 Gary Post Tribune Golden Gloves as a welterweight. He never turned professional.
The War came and Chuck enlisted in the army in 1942. In 1946 he returned to Gary and became assistant boxing coach at the Gary CYO located in the KC building on 5th and Madison. In 1948, Gary Fire Chief, Joe Zale saw the need for another gym. There were 40 to 50 fighters who showed up at the CYO each night hoping to box in the popular program. There was only one ring. Zale persuaded the CYO Board to open the gym at 32 E. Ridge Road in Glen Park where Chuck became Recreation Director. Bodak produced 37 novice and open Golden Glove champs.
In 1958 boxing was discontinued in the Gary CYO and Chuck went to Chicago, serving on the staff of the CYO there for over 20 years. He turned out numerous Golden Glove champions during that time He also coached for the Chicago Tribune charities, Inner City and International teams. In 1959, he was head coach for the Pan American games in Chicago. His team won a Gold Medal. Bodak also represented the U.S. State Department as one of the coaches of several boxing clinics which were held in 9 African nations. A year in Las Vegas training lightweight Johnny Lira was followed by 4 years with the "Greatest", Muhammed Ali. Chuck coached Ali's amateur boxing team.
"Chuck Bodak is one of the finest people ever to enrich the sport of boxing," claimed James. "I am honored to have him at our show to meet the fans." The main event of the night will feature the return of South Bend welterweight Harold Brazier against Canadian champion Brooke Wellby of Winnipeg in a ten round bout.
The simi-windup pits Chicago's Shay Mobley against Anthony Dennis of Indianapolis for the Indiana Boxing Association Super Middleweight title. The undercard will showcase local talent with Juan Aguilar, Ruben Galvan and Jeff Baker.
Tickets are on sale now. For more information on the Dec. 5 Holiday Boxing Bash, call 866-438-7372 or tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster (312) 559-1212 and Omega Sports Complex (219) 942-5307.
FRIDAY's OMEGA SPORTS CENTER BOXING CARD MAIN EVENT
10 - HAROLD BRAZIER, South Bend, Indiana -vs- BROOKE WELLBY, Winnipeg, Canada
Indiana Boxing Association Super Middleweight Championship
8-Shay Mobley, Chicago -vs- Anthony Dennis, Indianapolis
6-Ruben Galvan, Hammond, Indiana -vs- Randy Dobbs, Cincinnati, Ohio
4-Juan Aguilar, Whiting, Indiana -vs- Vance Garvey, Indianapolis
4-Jeff Baker, Kokomo, Indiana -vs- Donovan Smith, Wichita, Kansas
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