George “Boom Boom” Chavalo!
George Louis ChuvaloCM (born September 12, 1937) is a retired Canadian professional boxer who was a five-time Canadian heavyweight champion and two-time world heavyweight title challenger. Chuvalo is known for having never been knocked down in his 93 bout professional career including fights against Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, and other renown fighters of the era. Chuvalo was inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 1995.
George was a child of Croatian immigrants Stipan and Katica from Herzegovina (Ljubuški, Bosnia and Herzegovina). Chuvalo became the Canadian amateur heavyweight champion in May 1955, defeating Winnipeg‘s Peter Piper with a first-round KO in a tournament final in Regina, Saskatchewan. Chuvalo finished his amateur career with a 16–0–0 record, all by KO within four rounds. Nicknamed “Boom Boom”, Chuvalo turned professional in 1956, knocking out four opponents in one night to win a heavyweight tournament held by former world’s champion Jack Dempsey at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto on April 26, 1956.
Chuvalo is best known for his two fights against Muhammad Ali. He went the distance both times, in each case losing the decision by a wide margin on the scorecards. The first fight, on March 29, 1966 at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens, was for Ali’s world heavyweight title. “He’s the toughest guy I ever fought”, said Ali of Chuvalo after the fight. Six years later in Vancouver, Chuvalo and Ali fought a rematch on May 1, 1972 when Ali was no longer world heavyweight champion. Ali won a unanimous 12-round decision.