Percy "Pal" Reed
Tale Of The Tape
Place: Superior, WI
Weight: 153-161 lbs.
Died: 1991 in Tucson, AZ
"Back in the 1920's, Pal was one of the biggest
gate attractions in the business. His services were greatly in demand. The
big southpaw mutt-slinger, who fought out of Framingham, Mass., then, was
a crowd-pleaser all the way and those who had the pleasure of watching him
in action are in complete agreement that a gamer lad never stepped into
the ring . . . At one particular stage of his amazing career, Reed was ranked
among the five best battlers of that time. . . Pal was blessed with one
of the most lethal left hands in the boxing game and the number of antagonists
he literally pounded into slumberland attested to his prowess." - Leo
E. Cloutier, Former Sports Editor for The Union Leader (Manchester, NH),
Nickname: "The Fighting Parson" - Pal was
widely regarded as one of the cleanest sportsman the ring has ever known;
outside of the ring, he did not drink, smoke, or use profanity, and he taught
Sunday School at local churches for many years, including during his professional
MISCELLANIOUS CAREER NOTES
Not once in 80 professional bouts was he ever floored
for the full count; the nearest to a KO defeat was sustained at the hands
of Mickey Walker in Boston, May 30, 1922, when he battled one complete round
with a broken ankle and was forced to quit in the fourth stanza. In a fight
with heavyweight Pat McCarthy, he was knocked down four times in the first
round, but came back to win in a decision. He once defeated the "colored"
champion of the time, George Robinson, despite having broken both hands
during the fight - the right hand during the 2nd round, and the left hand
during the 11th round.
· Fought out of Framingham, Mass.
· Held the title of New England Middleweight
Champion for 3 years
· Fought 6 world champions during his 80-bout
professional career: Mickey Walker, Tiger Flowers, Jack Delaney, Tommy Loughran,
Johnny Wilson, and Harry Greb (three times). He fought Greb, Delaney, and
Flowers when they actually reigned as world champions, but despite the fact
that he came close, he never succeeded in winning a world crown.
PAL REED VS. HARRY GREB
Pal Reed fought Harry Greb three times during his professional
career. The results are listed below: - January 29, 1921 L 10-Round Decision
- February 5, 1923 L 12-Round Newspaper Decision - May 12, 1924 L 10-Round
Decision. Of their first fight on January 29, 1921, the Boston media noted
· The day of the fight, a Boston paper declared
that "Reed seems to be possessed with superhuman endurance. His punch
is much more powerful than Greb's and to this he pins his faith of winning
· "Greb and Reed are, without question,
two of the foremost fighters in their class. They have balked at meeting
no one, and have succeeded where others have failed." - sportswriter
· "Harry Greb, fighting with the speed and
versatility of a lightweight, defeated Pal Reed of Framingham after a stirring
ten-round bout . . . Reed, although vanquished, gave a credible account
of himself. Pal was willing at all times to stand in the center of the ring
and swap punches with his famous rival . . . Reed didn't have a chance of
winning the decision, but he proved willing at times, and risked an exchange
of wallops with his rugged rival whenever he got to close quarters."
- excerpt taken from the article titled "6,000 see Greb win over Reed"
by Boston sportswriter Jack Conway.
· "As for Reed, he, too, put up a most creditable
fight. Against such great odds - a 10 pound handicap and a world's champion
- he kept Greb on the alert throughout the 10 rounds and on more than one
occasion he showed that he was the possessor of a punch. Pal brought the
fans to their feet when he sent Greb reeling to the ropes twice in the fourth,
and in the sixth a right to the chin almost upset the champion." -
excerpt taken from the article titled "Harry Greb Wins Decision Over
Pal Reed in Faneuil A.C. Bout", printed in the Boston Post, January
REED ON GREB
"A unique style is very important in becoming a
champion. I think Harry Greb's boxing will best illustrate this. Harry was
known as the 'fighting windmill'. There never was a man who typified Harry's
style of boxing. He threw blows from every angle. He rained uppercuts and
blows that were used by no other boxer. He had a great faculty for starting
a blow and stopping it in mid air, but countering with another blow. . .
I should say that the greatest I ever fought was Greb."
-Interviewed later in his life while pointing to several
scars on his face Pal Reed said, "Greb did this and this and this (pointing
to his scars) You couldn't hit him. He would stand in the corner with his
hands down and you still couldn't hit him."
· "Frank Moody, Welsh middleweight, battered
his way to stardom when he knocked out Lou Bogash. It was the first time
Bogash had been stopped in more than 200 bouts. Moody continued eliminating
the opposition until he met Pal Reed in a Portland ring. The Framingham
middleweight, blessed with one of the best left hands in the boxing game,
crushed Moody's hopes of becoming the world's champion when he knocked him
down three times and had him on the verge of a knockout. Moody was foolish
to meet Reed, as the latter's wallop is liable to bowl over the best middleweight
in the world. Jack Delaney, for example, was obliged to go on the defensive
when he fought Reed in a twelve round battle in New York.
Tommy Walsh, in the presence of this writer, told Jock
Malone he was going to match him for a bout with Reed. 'I won't fight that
fellow again,' replied Malone. 'When we last met, he buried his left hand
in my stomach.'
Mickey Walker, world's welterweight champion, admits
that Reed almost knocked him out during a training bout in Newark . . .
" - excerpt taken from the article titled "The Power of a Punch"
by Boston sportswriter Jack Conway, circa 1921
LIFE BEFORE AND AFTER PRO BOXING:
Prior to becoming a professional boxer, Pal was enlisted
in the US Navy, where he began his amateur boxing career and eventually
became the middleweight champion of the Navy. Pal served during WWI, and
subsequently received an honorable discharge.
For 4 years during his professional fighting career,
he attended summer school programs at Harvard University, where he studied
Physical Education and was awarded his certificate of graduation. He also
served as Assistant
Boxing Coach at Harvard from 1923 - 1924.
Retired from professional boxing in 1926, at the age
of 27, and went on to coach the University of New Hampshire Boxing Team
for eight years, from 1927 - 1934. One of his greatest accomplishments during
his tenure was when he coached Phil Wageman to the National Collegiate Light
Received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University
of New Hampshire in 1930; media of the day noted that Pal was the first
professional boxer of great distinction to graduate from college after quitting
Was married to Mabel Eldredge in 1931, and fathered
three children - Phyllis, Marylee, and Donnie
At the age of 43, he rejoined the US Navy as a chief
specialist in Commander Gene Tunney's physical fitness program.
In 1970 at the age of 71 Pal Reed worked as a teller
at the Rockingham Race Track in New Hampshire.
RING RECORD: 65 wins - 15 losses - 25 KO's
Apr 7 1920 Johnny Wilson Boston L 12
Jan 29 1921 Harry Greb Boston L 10
unknown 1922 Jack Delaney unknown L 12
May 30 1922 Mickey Walker Boston KO by 4
Jan 8 1923 Tommy Loughran Newark ND 12
Feb 5 1923 Harry Greb Newark ND 12
May 17 1923 Martin Burke Ohio L 12
Nov 16 1923 Johnny Wilson Boston L 10
Jan 29 1924 Johnny Wilson Boston L 10
May 12 1924 Harry Greb Pitts. L 10
IF YOU HAVE ANY FURTHER INFORMATION ON PAL REED
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Photo supplied by Kevin Smith
All Bio info was supplied by Adam M. Reed