Renowned for their toughness and great boxing ability, they were feared throughout the boxing world and never received a shot at the world title. He was ranked in the top 10 in the Welterweight and Middleweight divisions for most of the s, without receiving a title shot. Near the end of his career Burley took to fighting Heavyweights in a bid to find meaningful contests, including J. Turner and future Heavyweight champ Ezzard Charles.

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Early life[ edit ] He was born Charles Duane Burley in Bessemer, Pennsylvania on September 6, to a mixed-race couple: his father was a black coal miner and his mother a white Irish immigrant from County Cork. He began boxing at the age of 12 at a Boys Club and, as a lightweight, won city, state and national junior boxing titles and a Golden Gloves junior title.

That same year, he refused an invitation to participate in the Olympic trials due to his objection to the Nazi regime. Burley had also excelled at baseball. He reportedly was offered a contract by the Homestead Grays , the local Negro Leagues franchise. He knocked out George Liggins in the fourth round of a four-round bout.

He won a unanimous decision in the round bout, knocking the Kid to the canvas three times and defeating him decisively, taking his title.

In their rematch for the title two months later at the same venue, Williams won a round decision. Jack Kincaid of the Times-Picayune reported that Burley had won nine rounds of the fight and had been the aggressor throughout.

Burley was never granted a world title shot by any of the world welterweight and world middleweight champions of his era and was avoided by many of the top white contenders.

Among the fighters who "ducked" Burley were Hall of Famers Billy Conn who fought Joe Louis for the heavyweight title , Frenchman Marcel Cerdan who was supposed to face Burley in his American debut and even Sugar Ray Robinson , considered by many boxing historians as the best pound-for-pound fighter of all time. Of course, not everyone ducked the slick Pittsburgh warrior.

Burley also faced future heavyweight champion Ezzard Charles , but dropped two round decisions to him the bouts were contested within a five-week period, sandwiching a fight against Williams. Another notable Burley fight was the one against heavyweight J. Burley himself was never stopped in 98 bouts. He compiled a record of 83 wins 50 by knockout against 12 losses and two draws with 1 "no contest".

It shows a conservative counter-puncher taming a much larger opponent with relative ease. Both had unorthodox styles, could hit you from any angle, both hard to hit. Charley jabbed more than Jones, if Jones would concentrate on boxing as Charley did, he would become an all-time great. Awards and achievements.


Charley Burley


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