The History of Intercollegiate Boxing at Wisconsin

published in: Martial Arts // Sports & Fitness

The History of Intercollegiate Boxing at Wisconsin
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Intercollegiate boxing started at the University of Wisconsin in 1933, when the … Walsh returned to Madison late 1945, with the boxing season of 1945-46 …

University of Wisconsin-Madison Boxing: 1933-1960 The History of Intercollegiate Boxing at Wisconsin Intercollegiate boxing started at the University of Wisconsin in 1933, when the Badger ring team held its first dual match with St. Thomas College of St. Paul, Minn., emerging with a 4-4 draw. In the same year, Wisconsin defeated Northwestern 6-2 in the fi rst boxing match between Western Conference schools, although the Wildcats were not offi cially sponsored. Since that time, Wisconsin’s boxing teams have amassed a staggering 93 victories, 11 defeats and seven draws in dual match competition throughout the program’s 27-year history against the outstanding collegiate boxing teams in America. Here are some of the impressive records established by the Badger boxers during the program’s 27 years of competition: In nine of those 17 seasons, Wisconsin went unbeaten and untied (1935, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1946, 1947 and 1948) and in three other seasons (1933, 1934 and 1949) only a single draw marred an otherwise unbeaten record. Out of the first 82 home matches, Wisconsin only lost two and tied on three other occasions. The first loss at home came in 1945 when an Iowa Pre-Flight team, packed with service personnel, beat the Badgers at the UW Field House, 4 1/2to 3 1/2 That loss snapped a string of 57 matches without defeat for Wisconsin in its own ring. During that same year, when the Badger team was greatly undermanned, Wisconsin lost a return match against the Seahawks and tied with three other service teams. The teams from 1940-44 ran up a string of 24 consecutive victories while the teams of 1938-40 boasted 18 straight wins prior to them. In National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournaments, which draw the best in college boxing ranks, Wisconsin representatives won 38 individual titles and the school has won eight team championships. In every NCAA tournament in which the Badgers competed, only once (1949) has Wisconsin failed to come up with at least one individual crown. A high point was reached in 1943 when Wisconsin boxing took five individual titles. Four each were also garnered in 1939 and 1942. Wisconsin won team championships in 1939, 1942, 1943, 1947 and 1948, hosting the tournament four times, each time setting new attendance records. In 1948, when the tournament also served as an elimination for the U.S. Olympic team, 50,000 boxing enthusiasts attended the four-session meet, with a capacity crowd of 15,000 witnessing the finals. The Badgers also won team championships in 1952, 1954 and 1956. Crowds from 12,000 to 15,000 (the all-time record is 15,200 when Washington State met Wisconsin at Madison in 1940) were in attendance at every intercollegiate match and even the All-University finals attracted crowds of 10,000 or better.

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