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Master of the Maritime: Canadian devout Christian with anvil fists

Eric Armit profiles a heavy-handed Canadian middleweight who was ready to start a new life after surprisingly hanging up the gloves at the age of 30. And then… disaster struck.


Born: 29 January 1941 South Bar, Canada

Died: 6 March 1971, I am 30 years old.

Record: 52 fights, 45 wins (36 by KO/TKO) 5 losses (3 by KO/TKO), Drew 2.

Job: 1956-1966.

Category: Super-welterweight, middleweight, super-middleweight.

Topics: Canadian, Commonwealth and Maritime middleweight champion.

Great Competitions

Goal wins over: Burke Emery (twice), Wilf Greaves (twice), Del Flanagan, Joe DeNucci (twice), Gomeo Brennan.

Lost to: Burke Emery, Wilf Greaves, Joey Archer, Gomeo Brennan.

Draw with: Isaac Logart.

The story of Blair Richardson

Richardson was a multi-talented, multi-faceted man. He took up boxing in high school and showed such prowess that he turned pro in July 1956 at the age of 15 with no legendary experience.

He learned the trade as he went, going 4-1-1 in his first six fights. All four of his victories were by distance, giving an indication of the potential that will make him a huge idol for fans of Canada’s Maritime Provinces.

Blair continued to knock down local and international opponents, winning the Maritime middleweight title in June 1959. By August 1961, he had strung together 24 consecutive victories, 21 by KO/TKO, including at one point a streak of 16. in-distance wins in a row.

That ended in August 1961 when he was knocked out in the ninth round by seasoned Canadian light-heavyweight champion Burke Emery. Richardson got his revenge with a points win over Emery in November and another in June 1962.

Another setback came in July 1962, when he was knocked down four times and stopped in the 10th round by Wilf Greaves in a fight for the Canadian middleweight title. Once again, Richardson bounced back, dropping Greaves three times in September en route to an eighth-round victory that saw him crowned Canadian.

It was time for Richardson to step up, but he was ambitious and was outclassed by 33-1 top contender Joey Archer at Madison Square Garden in February 1963. Richardson then put together a seven-game winning streak, including defeating Greaves to defend the Canadian title, defeating the experienced Glen Flanagan and hitting Joe De Nucci twice.

Richardson followed up with his first international title when he challenged Gomeo Brennan for the Commonwealth title in September 1965. The fight was close in the eleventh round, but Richardson was caught cold by a vicious right that put him down and out after just 15 seconds. round.

Like a rubber ball, Richardson bounced right, outpointing Brennan in March 1966 and winning the Commonwealth title in a grueling thirteen-round fight.

Richardson fought only three times in 1964 and twice in 1965, but it was still a surprise when, after defeating Pail Christie in June 1966 and a 110-fight draw against Isaac Logart in July 1966, Richardson announced his retirement.

Richardson said he has “lost his ferocity”, but has paid the price for the power that brought him 36 wins by KO/TKO in the form of multiple broken bones. That piercing power made him an idol and a great sportsman in the Maritimes.

It was always possible that the very intelligent, very religious Richardson would want to do something else with his life. He was a graduate of Emerson College in Boston, where he received bachelor’s and master of science degrees with minors in sociology and theology.

After his retirement, he graduated from Northeastern University in Boston with a degree in communications and taught speech there. He was a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and was about to take up a position in the church when he died in March 1971 at the age of thirty following surgery for a brain tumor. Richardson was inducted into the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame in 1980.

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