The first Boxing match on Prince Edward Island took place in Charlottetown at the Lyceum Building, on Prince Street in July of 1888. The fight was between Islander, Joe Lannon and Dick Crowin of the United States Navy. During the next twenty years, many Island fighters would go to the United States to work, train, and fight competitively. George “Old Chocolate” Godfrey was one such fighter.
He grew up in the Bog community of Charlottetown and soon after arriving in Boston, became Prince Edward Island’s first boxer to establish himself as a world class fighter and champion.
On May 3, 1912, a highly anticipated boxing match was held at the Arena in Charlottetown, where Tom “One Man” McCluskey fought Bob Stanley for the vacant Eastern Canadian championship title. People were still lining up outside the rink when the knockout punch was delivered by McCluskey in the first round.The 1930’s and 1940’s was the golden age of Boxing, with a number of local fighters obtaining successful careers. Harry “Kid” Poulton, Irwin “Jinx” Jenkins and the fighting McCluskey family– Tom, Ace, Cobey and Wilf are names that are synonymous with the sport in Prince Edward Island.
While Wilf was considered “too good-looking” for the sport, he has become one of the foremost authorities on Canadian boxing. He was inducted into both the Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame and the Prince Edward Island Sport Hall of Fame. Mr. McCluskey had over 500 scrapbooks on the sport and wrote a newspaper column “Ring Ramblings” for over twenty years.