Percy "Pal" Reed


"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), circa 1953.

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 career.



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 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 following:

· 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 tonight's battle."

· "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 W.A. Hamilton

· "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 30, 1921.




"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




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 Heavyweight crown.

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 the ring.

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

 selected bouts

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


Photo supplied by Kevin Smith

All Bio info was supplied by Adam M. Reed