Bill Speary was sitting on the bed of his downtown hotel.  He was wearing a dark suit, white shirt and dark tie with a slip-over to sweater which served as a vest.

The only signpost about his features which tells the world Bill makes a living with his fists is a somewhat flattened out nose.  It has added a few embellishments to the original bridge.  This some evidence of tissue scar around the eyes if you peer closely.  There's a slight lump on his left ear lobe that might be called a vest pocket edition of a cauliflower ear.  It is not apparent to the casual observer.

For a youngster of 23 who has fought 325 amateur fights and 21 pro battles he has come through the grind with neatness and dispatch.  He had just driven in from Nanticoke, Pa. in his brand-new yellow sedan, a mercenary momento to the caliber of his flaying fists.

The rain was turning to sleet outside and someone asked Billy about his fight career, how he became a fighter, how he liked it, etc..  After some good-natured prodding the youngster, who many of the fight experts claim may someday be the featherweight champion of the world was off on his spiel.

"Why did I become a fighter?"

"That's easy.  I always wanted to be one.  My brother really got me started back in 1935.  I was eighteen years old then.  My fighting weight was 112 pounds soaking wet and the only thing I had to recommend me was I wanted to fight."

"I'll never forget the day the Lewis boys took me over to Art Thomas, the present manager.  He looked me over with amused look in his eyes and told me to come back when I grew up.  I was too small, too weak to be a fighter, he claimed.  But I persisted."

"Finally he said half-heartedly: "All right."

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There are no dates on the above press photos taken during one of the Speary - Jeffra fights (there were 3).  But, one thing is for sure.  This is one of the very few times anyone saw Billy Speary off his feet.





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