Joe Bayley

His fight career was relatively short, but Esquimalt's Joe Bayley packed a punch in five years of slapping leather with opponents in the early 20th century. An all-around athlete with the Victoria West Athletic Association several years before he donned the gloves, Bayley enjoyed his greatest success in the ring. He won the Canadian lightweight championship in 1912 and defended it at least eight times before losing in 1913 to Frenchie Valise. The young Bayley was known for his tireless work at halfback with the Wests' championship soccer team, but discovered boxing as a teen. At age 19 in 1908, he won his first amateur fight, a victory he used as a springboard to B.C.'s 105-pound title two weeks later. A power puncher with plenty of stamina, Bayley turned pro in 1910 and chalked up 10 wins by knockout fighting on the Island, elsewhere in B.C. and Alberta. His first major win was a KO of Western Canada champ Billy Lauder in Edmonton in December 1911. Having picked up the nickname "KO" Bayley along the way, he won several more fights before meeting Canadian champ Billy Allen in Alberta. The 15-round fight went the distance, as the 128-pound Bayley wrested the crown from Allen. The Pride of Victoria further proved his mettle in the rematch, knocking out Allen in the third round. Bayley made a number of title defences, including a draw against Valise in Seattle, but the latter handed Bayley his first professional loss in a thrilling 15-round title bout in July 1913. The rematch in Vancouver was a 15-round draw that marked the end of Bayley's pro career.

Eddie Haddad studio shot with gloves on

Eddie Haddad was an outstanding amateur boxer who lost only two bouts in 49 fights. He represented Canada in the quarterfinals of the 1948 Olympics and won a bronze medal in the 1950 British Empire Games in New Zealand. Haddad was one of the best and most gifted lightweight amateur boxers ever to enter the ring in Canada. In 1947 he won the BC Golden Boy title, was named Victoria's Athlete of the Year and he won the Norton Crowe Award as Canada's best amateur athlete. In 1948 he retained the BC and Pacific Northwest Golden Gloves titles. Eddie's sportsmanship was admirable and he never complained about the controversial decisions that robbed him of a medal in the 1948 Olympics and possible gold in his last bout at the British Empire Games after which he retired with an injured shoulder.

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Victoria enjoys a stellar sports history and we celebrate the many athletes, teams and builders who have contributed to that history.  Our displays are seen at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre (1925 Blanshard St.)  through Gate Three.


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