Billy Speary, national amateur boxing flyweight and bantamweight champion for the last three years and holder of practically every amateur title available in the United States, is headed for the professional ring.
Wanted Olympics Post
The hard-hitting Nanticoke youngsters stated yesterday he expects to turn pro since the war in Europe appears to have doomed the 1940 Olympic Games.
"I have remained in amateur ranks until now for the sole purpose of making a place on the Olympic team," he said at his home yesterday. "But, should the Olympic Games be called off because of the war I'll turn professional."
Speary's decisions was not influenced by the present controversy regarding the amateur boxing situation in the middle Atlantic district A.A.U., he said.
Won Many Titles
I have always looked forward to a professional career but would like to compete in the Olympic team before turning pro and I thought I had a good chance to make the 1940 team."
The up-state fighter, who started amateur competition three years ago when he finished at the West Nanticoke high school at the age of 18, has had in the neighborhood of 200 fights, most of which he has won.
He captured the national flyweight championship in his first year in the ring and won it for the second time last year. In March of this year he advanced to the bantamweight division and won that title. Speary also has won the national Golden Gloves championship, the East-West Crown, the Maine-to-Miami championship and the international flyweight title.
A statement that an amateur boxer in this district earned $20,000 in three years, made by a member of the committee investigating the boxing situation in this district, drew a laugh from the Champion.
"Whoever spilled that yarn," he said, "didn't come out and say it was me, but he certainly hinted it was. I wish I had
even a small part of that amount."
Speary lives with his father and mother and a brother at Nanticoke and is at present unemployed. His father, a miner, gets about two day's work in the mines every two weeks. His brother is a carpenter and works occasionally.
Another brother, Wesley, who was an amateur boxer before Bill, is working in New York.