History | Sep 06 2019

On This Day: The fighter who was too good for his own good, Charley Burley, was born

Bob Mee pays tribute to Charley Burley, one of the forgotten boxing greats
Charley Burley
Charley Burley

FOR years Charley Burley was more or less a forgotten man – now he’s rightly respected as one of the finest boxers of his or any other time.

Burley was too good for his own good: a classy, economical boxer who knew how to feint an opponent into making mistakes and then punish him. He was one of a group of avoided black fighters in the 1940s – Holman Williams, Eddie Booker, Jimmy Bivins, Lloyd Marshall, Elmer Ray and others – and Burley was a genuine master of his craft.

He was inconsistent, temperamental, but in nearly 100 fights, nobody ever knocked him out.