Brian Curvis picks himself off the floor to decision Dave Charnley over 10 rounds original black & white 8" x 6" press photo.
24th March 1964, Empire Pool, Wembley, London.
*The fight was made at 149 to protect Curvis' titles.
Brian Curvis picked himself off the floor to narrowly decision Dave Charnley over 10 rounds at the Empire Pool in a bout which had the capacity crowd roaring their approval from the opening bell. Curvis, who had not fought for nine months because of an Achilles tendon injury which nearly finished his career, finished with a cut over his right eye, while Charnley also had a cut right eye. Curvis was slightly ahead going into the 5th round, but after the tremendous opening pace when the two southpaws were attacking all the time, the pace slackened until the 8th when Charnley brought the 10,000 fans on hand to their feet by flooring Curvis with a vicious right hook. Curvis took the final round which probably earned him the decision.
Condition very good (right side edge handwritten/printed details, copyright stamped & dated on reverse)
Brian Nancurvis ,who fought under the name Brian Curvis as a professional, from Swansea, Wales who was active from 1959 to 1966. He fought as a Welterweight, becoming British welterweight champion in 1960. He retired as undefeated champion and is the only welterweight to have won two Lonsdale Belts outright. The four defeats in his professional career were all to foreign boxers; he was never beaten by a British boxer.
As an amateur, Curvis won the A.B.A. welterweight title.
He had his first professional fight on 2 June 1959 at the Empire Pool, Wembley, winning by technical knockout against Harry Haydock.
He won all of his first thirteen fights, and then fought the Australian, George Barnes for the Commonwealth welterweight title that he held. The fight was held at the Vetch Field, Swansea in May 1960, and Curvis won on points over fifteen rounds.
Three fights later in November 1960, he fought Wally Swift holder of the British welterweight title, at the same time defending his own Commonwealth title. The fight was in Nottingham, and Curvis continued his winning run by taking a fifteen-round points decision.
In May 1961, he had a re-match with Swift in Nottingham for the two titles, and again won on points.
In October 1961, he defended both titles against Mick Leahy at the old Empire Pool, winning by a knockout in the eighth round.
In February 1962, he defended his titles against Tony Mancini at the Royal Albert Hall, winning by a technical knockout in the fifth round.
In his next fight, his twenty-fourth, Curvis suffered his first defeat, losing to the American, Guy Sumlin by a technical knockout in the eighth round. However he gained revenge over Sumlin with a points victory two fights later.
In February 1963, he defended his titles against Tony Smith, at the Royal Albert Hall, scoring a technical knockout in the ninth round.
In July 1964, he defended his titles against Johnny Cook, at Porthcawl, and won by a technical knockout in the fifth round.
World Title Attempt
In September 1964, Curvis, who had only been beaten once, fought the WBA and WBC, World welterweight champion, American, Emile Griffith, for his title. The fight was held at the Empire Pool, Wembley. Although it went the full distance, Curvis was knocked down in the sixth, tenth and thirteenth rounds by body punches, and lost a unanimous points decision.
Curvis continued to fight, suffering a defeat against Willie Ludick in Johannesburg
In November 1965, he defended his British and Commonwealth titles for the sixth time, against the Scot, Sammy McSpadden in Cardiff, winning by a technical knockout in the twelfth round.
In April 1966, he challenged for the vacant European welterweight title, fighting the Frenchman, Jean Josselin in the Palais des Sports, Paris. He was forced to retire in the fourteenth round.
Curvis fought one more fight defeating Des Rea in Carmarthen in September 1966, before retiring from the ring as undefeated British and Commonwealth welterweight champion. For his six successful title defences he won two Lonsdale Belts outright, the only welterweight to do so.
In 1960, he was named as BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year.
Dave Charnley (born October 10, 1935 in Dartford, England) considered to be one of the greatest British fighters in his weight class. Known as The Dartford Destroyer the left-handed Charnley had a 10 year career lasting from 1954 to 1964.
He won bronze in the 1954 Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, Canada and went on to become:
• Undefeated British Lightweight Champion (1957-63)
• Commonwealth Lightweight Champion (1959-62) and
• European Lightweight Boxing Champion (1960-61)
World Champion Title Fights
Charnley made two unsuccessful World title challenges against his arch-rival Joe 'Old Bones' Brown. He was stopped by Brown on a cut eye in Houston, Texas, in 1959 and was narrowly out-pointed in a controversial 15 round bout in London on 18 April 1961. Ring Magazine called this second bout "Fight of the Year." Many say Charnley should have won.
The decision is still contested by Charnley and most British writers. He eventually defeated Brown in six rounds in a non-title fight in Manchester on 25 February 1963.
Early Life And Career
Before he became a boxer, Charnley worked at Vickers Engineering Crayford as a boiler maker. He began pro-boxing on 19 October 1954 and his strong punching won him the 1954 A.B.A. Featherweight championship. He turned professional the same year.
He became British Lightweight Champion at 21 by out pointing Joe Lucy, another south paw, on the 9 April 1957, but in his first attempt later that year to win the Empire title on the 9 July he was beaten on points by the brilliant South African, Willie Towel. In 1958 he met future World champion, Puerto Rican Carlos Ortiz at Harringay Arena where he lost on a 10 round decision.
In a return match against Willie Towel on the 12 May 1959, Dave Charnley punched with such authority that the championship changed hands in the 10th round, when Dave won by a knockout. Dave challenged for the World Title at Houston, Texas on 2 December 1959, against Joe Brown but was forced to retire in the fifth round with a badly damaged eye. He fought Brown again, this time in London on the 18 April 1961, and lost a bitterly contested duel that many fans thought he had won. By way of consolation Dave knocked out Brown in six rounds in a third meeting, but only after the American had lost his World title.
Before his second bout with Brown, Dave added the European Lightweight Title to his British and Empire Titles, when he met Mario Vecchiatto of Italy on the 29 March 1960. He forced Vecchiatto to retire in the 10th round.
On 20 November 1961 Dave Charnley met challenger David "Darkie" Hughes of Wales for his third title and stopped the Welshman in 40 seconds, including the count, a record win in the British Lightweight class.
In 1962 Dave went to Jamaica, losing his Empire title on a close point verdict to Bunny Grant, but he won his Lonsdale Belt outright by defeating Maurice Cullen in Manchester on the 20 May 1963. That year he also forfeited his European title.
As there were no worthy challengers in the Lightweight division, to continue boxing, it was necessary for Dave to move up to the Welterweight division. He was then game enough to challenge the World Champion, Emile Griffith, but took a bad beating and the fight was stopped in round eight.
Dave retired from the ring in 1964 as unbeaten British Lightweight Champion.
Aggressive Fighting Style
Charnley had a powerful build and large forearms and was often compared to the "Toy Bulldog" Mickey Walker, but he also had good tools. He had double and triple hooks and was a true scrapper with plenty of bottle. His trademark was an aggressive attacking style. Inside the ring he was a furious brawler who gave and took brutal punishment. He fought everyone, even much heavier men and always held his own.
Only Joe Brown stopped him on cuts and until his last fight, only welterweight great Emile Griffiths stopped him from going the distance. Charnley ended his career fighting welterweights and was a really tough opponent for anyone.
After The Ring
When he retired from boxing, Charnley took a completely different direction in his life and for a few years opened and operated hair salons, which became quite profitable for him.
He later moved into building and property refurbishments buying land and building estates in the Dartford area. He established the offices of his company in Regent Street, where the business expanded through restorations of hotels and other projects. His various business enterprises generated him a lot of money late in his life.
Charnley's biographer, James Kirkwood, said: "It may be a cliché, but it really was true of Dave that you never heard anybody say a bad word about him." Charnley died of lung cancer on 3 March 2012, at the age of 76.