Pa Boxing H.O.F



WV Sports H.O.F.
WV Boxing H.O.F.
Pa Boxing H.O.F

The following article is from The Veteran Boxers Association, Ring One, 41st Annual Mother's Day Banquet on Sunday, May 9, 1976 on the occasion of Billy's induction in to the Pennsylvania State Boxing Hall Of Fame


What can one write about a pugilist from the Coal Regions, who demonstrated he could well handle the opposition in both the amateur and professional ring?

It doesn't take much imagination to realize that the name Billy Speary, born in Nanticoke, Pa, has made ring history as a bantamweight and featherweight as an amateur and as a pro.

As "Simon Pure" this gloveman from the Anthracite Region was supposed to be "AN EASY MARK." But before the going was over in the punch for honor competition, he had won a grand total of 267 contests. To climax it all Speary wound up with a total of 13 amateur ring championships in both the 118 and 106  (should read 112) pound divisions.

Having no more fields to conquer, Speary became a leather pusher for pay.  As a result of his professional battle, he soon discovered he had participated in a total of 68 money earning ventures.

He fought the best in the world, including sizzlers with bantamweight and featherweight champion Harry Jeffra, of Baltimore; Joey Archibald, of New York, Willie Pep and Jackie Callura, the later trio having held the 126 pound crown.

Speary beat Jeffra when he held the bantamweight and the featherweight crowns, both being over the legal title poundage.  He also beat and lost to Archibald.  Archibald, Pep and Callura eked out unpopular verdicts over the "Upstart from Northeast Pennsylvania."  Efforts to gain rematches with Messrs. Archibald, Pep and Callura proved futile.  Speary's ability to give and take proved he was no "easy mark" for the cream of the crop.  One meeting with him was just too much - an experience they never forgot.

The name of Billy Speary well merits being enrolled with all the champions and near champions that have already gotten into the Pennsylvania State Boxing Hall of Fame.

Upon his retirement from active competition, the one time bantam and feather ring great became a fistic referee, as a licensee by the Keystone State Athletic Commission.  He performed these chores in the Wilkes-Barre-Scranton area.

Speary passed away while still a very young man but his ring feats will always be remembered by the residents of his home sector as one of the nations foremost bantam and featherweight challengers.


pahol2.jpg (55537 bytes)

Plaque commemorating induction

letter.jpg (95104 bytes)
Induction Notice

paHOFprogram.jpg (80310 bytes)



Billy Speary Was Best Boxer County Ever Produced


While many of the rest of us were honoring the nation's mothers last Sunday, there was a group in Philadelphia which put on a whale of the promotion on behalf of boxing.

It was the 41st annual banquet hosted by the Veterans Boxing Association.  The group holds its event each year a Mother's Day.

One of our very dear friends, Joe Sweeney of Hanover Township, played in important role at the affair which attracted boxing luminaries from far and wide.

The event was of such proportion that the program booklet contained 122 pages.

Sweeney, a onetime pugilist from Wyoming Valley, resides now in Philadelphia where he is gained stature as one of the East's premier fight referees.

This chore last week was to make sure Nanticoke's Billy Speary got into Pennsylvania's Boxing Hall of Fame.  And he did.

Sweeney was called out of the audience to present a plaque so commemorating the occasion to Speary's widow.


Speary is legend in these parts and it took Joe Sweeney to get him into the Hall of Fame-an honor he so richly deserves.

It kinda make you sick to your stomach when you see so many of today's boxers in a title fight with only 30 bouts under their belts.

By comparison, Speary's experience makes today's crop look like rank amateurs.

That, more than anything else, is why boxing is such a sorry state today.


Back Home

  Home ] WV Sports H.O.F. ] WV Boxing H.O.F. ] [ Pa Boxing H.O.F ]
Billy Speary-Pugilist ] The A.A.U ] The Olympic Dream ] The Pro Ring ] The Final Bell ] The Old Timer ] The Halls of Fame ] In His Corner ] Photo Gallery ] Boxing Links ] Table of Contents ] Family Genealogy ]


Email to:  william -at-

Sorry, but due to the large volume of junk email we have had to take the email links out.  Please copy the address line above, paste it in to your email & change the -at- to @