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Thread: olde preliminary training camps

  1. #1
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    Apr 2006

    olde preliminary training camps

    What are some of the more famous ones and do they still exist?
    the camps were the a boxer getting ready for a big fight would spend about two weeks,chopping wood,roadwork,catching up on sleep and eating right before they moved to the main training camp.
    Joe Louis use to train up at Stevensville Michigan(Julian Black's farm),
    sometimes before going to Pompton Lakes.
    Earnie Shavers use to do preliminary training at Don King's farm near Windsor Ohio in the 1970's.
    Any history behind camps like these.
    Such as John Dillinger hiding his stash or something like that.
    Camps with a big lake are usually interesting.

  2. #2
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    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Re: olde preliminary training camps

    James "Baron" Dougherty owned one of the more famous fight camps during the first half of the 20th century at Leiperville, Pa. From around 1899 thru the mid 40's the famous fighters who trained at the outdoor facility included : Joe Gans, Eddie Lenny, Harry Lewis, Jack Blackburn, Phila. Jack O'Brien, Jack Dempsey, Pancho Villa, Joe + Vince Dundee, Benny Bass, Mickey Walker, Johnny Kilbane, George Godfrey, Jack Johnson, Kid Chocolate, John Henry Lewis, Tony Galento, Johnny Jadick, Tony Galento, Al Ettore, Billy Conn, Tony Canzoneri, Leo Lomski, Sugar Ray Robinson, Tiger Thomas, etc.
    Damon Runyon made the Leiperville landmark his second home and wrote much of "Little Miss Marker" and "Life with Father" while occupying his second floor room facing Gibbons street at Dougherty's Colonial Hotel on Chester Pike in front of the outdoor Arena and fight camp.
    Other famous writers who often spent time there included Red Smith, Grantland Rice, Dan Parker, Hype Igoe etc.
    ************************************************** *****
    Another famous, at least in Philadelphia, training camp was Laoma Byrd's outdoor facility in Pleasantville, N.J. which catered to Philly's top black boxers from the 40's thru the 1960's. Her list of battlers who worked there included Bob Montgomery, Wesley Mouzon, Ike Williams, Sugar Costner, Robert Villemain, Jersey Joe Walcott, Gil Turner, Charley Scott, Len Matthews, Sugar Hart, Von Clay, Kitten Hayward, Toothpick Brown and others.
    Miss Byrd, who was black, and a graduate of Cornell University and also had a degree from Columbia ran a specialized hotel on the grounds which served nourishing, healthy nutritious foods and was said to run a tight ship, maintaining that "her boys" always conduct themselves as gentlemen with no foul language and late nights out in nearby Atlantic City.

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