Wednesday, November 04, 2009


By Brian W. Zelley, B. Com., C A
(Vancouver Island Amateur Boxing News - Fall of 1983)
September 1983 marks the 20th. year since the Newcastle Boxing Club was formed by 
GEORGE NEPPER.  In September 1963, Nepper obtained the use of the basement 
of the "Newcastle Hotel" from Jim Clark.  
By January 16, 1964, five boxers were ready to compete in the blue and gold of the newly formed club.  The first boxer to lace on the gloves was Roger Nepper who defeated 
Al Robinson of the London Boxing Club in Victoria.
In the 1964/1965 season, the club moved to the basement of  "Harvey Murphy Men's Wear".  
In the "1964 BC Bronze Gloves" four of five Nanaimo boxers won titles including
Rick Tait, Keith McPherson, Ken Stant and Mike Lazare.  Lazare also won the 135 lb.
title in the "BC Emerald Gloves".
In the 1965/1966 season, the club moved to the Madill building by Nanaimo's Civic Arena.
Again the club moved in 1966/67 season to the home of George Nepper.  In that season.
Rick Johnson punched his way into the finals of the Bronze Gloves then defeated
 L. Harding of  Richmond.  Brian Zelley entered the 1967 BC Golden Gloves and 
defeated Vern Fouth (Calgary) and Steve Flajole (Seattle), then lost in the finals.
(Vancouver).  Brian then entered the 1967 BC Diamond Belt tournament where he
defeated Brian Gray (Burnaby) and Ted Webb (Oregon), but lost  in the finals.
Due to the fading health of George Nepper, the 1967/68 season was the last.
In that year, Rick Johnson, Tony James and Bob Lewis were finalists in the
1968 Silver Gloves in Richmond.  James then entered the 1968 BC Golden Gloves
but lost a decision to 1967 Canadian featherweight champion Wayne Boyce.   

BEYOND NEWCASTLE The Nanaimo Boxing Cub

Beyond the Newcatle Boxing club, out of the ashes rose the
NANAIMO BOXING CLUB which has produced two
Canadian Champions:
1973 - Senior champion JACK SNAITH and in
2009 - Junior champion Stefan Melideo

1 comment:

  1. In 1968 - The only boxer to enter the BC Golden Gloves was Tony James while Brian Zelley was with the Vancouver Firefighters.

    Tony did an excellent job when he faced 1967 Canadian
    featherweight champion Wayne Boyce. Boyce would edge
    James in prelim action but would be defeated by Portland's
    fast & heavy punching Ray Lampkin.