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Joe Erskine
Replace this image male.svg
Real name Joseph Erskine
Nickname(s) Joe
Rated at Heavyweight
Nationality United Kingdom Wales British (Welsh)
Birth date 26 January, 1934
Birth place Wales Cardiff, Wales
Death date 2 February, 1990 (aged 56)
Death place Cardiff, Wales
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 54
Wins 45
Wins by KO 13
Losses 8
Draws 1
No contests 0
For Joe Erskine, the American welterweight boxer and long distance runner, see Joe Erskine (American boxer).

Joseph "Joe" Erskine (26 January, 1934 – 2 February, 1990) was a heavyweight boxer from the Butetown district of Cardiff, Wales. He was trained by Freddie Elvin. He held the British heavyweight title from August 1956 to June 1958. In all, he won 45 of his 54 professional bouts, losing 8, with one drawn.

Erskine was somewhat short for a heavyweight, being just 5 ft 11 ins and about 190 lbs. He was an excellent boxer who lacked a killer punch, and who relied on his ring-skills to beat opponents. He was Amateur Boxing Association Champion, Inter-Services Champion and British Army Champion in 1953. He began fighting as a professional in 1954.


On 15 December, 1955, Erskine had his first fight against Henry Cooper, at Harringay Arena, in an eliminator for the British heavyweight title, and won the ten-round fight on points.

On 27 August, 1956, Erskine won the British heavyweight title, which had been vacated by the retirement of Don Cockell. He beat fellow Welshman, Johnny Williams on points in a fifteen-round fight at the Maindy Stadium, Cardiff.

On 17 September, 1957, he added the British Empire (Commonwealth) heavyweight title, when he beat Henry Cooper for the second time. The fight was at Harringay Arena over fifteen rounds, and was won on points.

He successfully defended his British Empire (Commonwealth) against Jamaican-born heavyweight Joe Bygraves on 25 November, 1957, again winning over fifteen rounds on points.

On 21 February, 1958, he unsuccessfully fought for the European heavyweight title against Ingemar Johansson, in Gothenburg, Sweden, losing on a technical knockout in the thirteenth round.

On 3 June, 1958, he defended both his titles against Brian London, of Blackpool in a bout at the White City Stadium, London. Erskine was knocked out in the eighth round.

On 24 February, 1959, Erskine fought and defeated the talented American boxer Willie Pastrano, who was later (in 1964) to become World light-heavyweight champion. The fight was at the Wembley Stadium over ten rounds and Erskine won on points.

On 24 June, 1959, he fought another Welsh boxer, Dick Richardson in a ten-round bout at Coney Beach Arena, Porthcawl, Wales, and won on points.

In the meantime Henry Cooper had defeated Brian London to take the British and Commonwealth titles from him. On 17 November, 1959, Erskine fought Cooper for both titles, having beaten him on their two previous meetings. The bout was held at the Earls Court Arena, London. Cooper won the fight on a technical knockout. Cooper, who was renowned for the power of his left hook, floored Erskine twice with terrific left hooks and Erskine was hanging almost unconscious over the lower rope when the referee stopped the bout.

On 21 March, 1961, Erskine fought Cooper again for the two titles, this time at the Empire Pool, Wembley, and again lost on a technical knockout, this time in the fifth round.

Erskine went to Toronto, Canada to fight George Chuvalo, who was hoping to show that he had the talent to fight for the world title against Floyd Patterson. Unfortunately for Chuvalo the fight, on 2 October, 1961, was stopped in the fifth round and Chuvalo was disqualified for persistent head butting. Erskine claimed that he was butted eight times during the five rounds.

On 2 April, 1962, he fought Cooper for the fifth and last time, this time at the Ice Rink, Nottingham. Cooper retained his titles by winning on a technical knockout in the ninth round.

On 13 October, 1963, he fought the famous German, southpaw, Karl Mildenberger, in Dortmund, Germany, and lost the ten-round bout on points.

On 3 March, 1964, Erskine fought Jack Bodell, a British champion of the future, and defeated him on points over ten rounds.

His last fight was against Billy Walker on 27 October, 1964 at the Empire Pool, Wembley. He lost the ten-round bout on points.

In his 54 professional bouts, he won 45 (13 on knock-outs), and lost 8 (6 on knock-outs). One of his bouts was drawn.

See also

External links



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