Yesterday’s Heroes: Joe Taylor was the last of his kind

Joe Taylor of Leyland passed away on February 27, just two days short of his 89th birthday. Very few will remember Joe today, but he was the first man to put Howard Winstone onto the seat of his pants in a professional ring.

Joe was a throwback to the old school, turning pro at the young age of 16 in 1951. The minimum age for a professional license was raised to 18 shortly after, but Joe remained one of the last 16-year-old pros until the age limit was reduced to 17 in 1975.

Hailing from Leyland, Lancashire, Joe often fought at the Public Hall in Preston under the promotion of Fred Bamber. Bamber was a prominent figure in Lancashire boxing, organizing events in Preston, Blackburn, and Burnley. Joe’s early contests were held at Preston, where he showcased his skills from a young age.

Despite his youth, Joe quickly made a name for himself in the ring, defeating opponents and impressing local newspapers. He took on more experienced fighters and proved himself as a promising prospect under the guidance of Harry Gent, a former star performer.

After a successful run in Lancashire, Joe faced Howard Winstone in September 1959. Winstone, a talented boxer who went on to achieve great success in his career, was challenged by Joe in a memorable bout where Joe managed to drop Winstone in the first round before succumbing to his opponent’s skills.

Following his retirement from boxing, Joe remained in Leyland, working as a motor mechanic and training young boxers at his local gym. He was a true representation of a bygone era in boxing and will be fondly remembered by those who knew him.

Source link