David Pearce (Boxer) (Part 1)

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David Pearce (Boxer) (Part 1)

Postby The Newport » June 11th, 2018, 3:08 am

Part 1

David Pearce (boxer).


David 'Bomber' Pearce (8 May 1959 – 20 May 2000) was a British heavyweight boxing champion.


He was one of a quartet of exciting British heavyweights in the 1980s, along with Frank Bruno, John L. Gardner and Noel Quarless, who held out the possibility of a future British heavyweight world champion.
Pearce defeated a number of top heavyweights, by knockout, in his career, including Mal Tetley, Winston Allen, Denton Ruddock, Larry McDonald, Ishaq Hussain, Dennis Andries, Gordon Ferris, Albert Syben, Neville Meade and John Tate.

Biographical details

Pearce, born in Pillgwenlly, Newport, Monmouthshire, was one of nine children: seven brothers, six of whom boxed professionally, and one who was a professional dancer, and two sisters.
He boxed out of St Josephs ABC in Pillgwenlly, Newport and coached junior and senior boxers at Alway ABC in Newport before his death.
Soon after his final fight, against Percell Davies in Michigan, Pearce became ill, developing epilepsy, David 'Bomber' Pearce died 10 years later due to SADS (Sudden Adult Death Syndrome). The South Wales Argus described him as "Newport's most famous boxer" Around 2,000 people attended his funeral in Newport at Stow Hill Cemetery.



Boxing career achievements

* Pearce won the Welsh and British Heavyweight Boxing Titles in September 1983; Although the Welsh Title was won on the night, the title had to be relinquished by Pearce, due to his commitments of becoming British Heavyweight Champion.

* In March 1984 Pearce knocked down Lucien Rodriguez twice in Limoges for the European Heavyweight Title.

* Pearce was ranked 7th in the Heavyweight World Rankings.

* Pearce retired in 1984 and then returned to fight in the United States 6 Years later.

* Michael "Jack" Johnson was ranked number 5 with the WBA when he fought David Pearce.

* Pearce was ranked No.3 in the WBC World Cruiserweight Rankings after the KO of Micheal "Jack" Johnson.

* Pearce was due to fight Buster Douglas in Columbus, Ohio, USA but was pulled out whilst warming up on 3 hrs notice.

* Pearce came 2nd in Welsh Personality of the year.

* Steve Lillis, boxing journalist and co-presenter of Box-Nation, voted David 'Bomber' Pearce in his Top Ten most Underrated British boxing champions (Lonsdale Belt Holders) of all time.

* Pearce weighed exactly the same weight as Johnny Nelson when he fought Dennis Andries, Pearce's KO of Dennis Andries was 15 years earlier.




British Heavyweight Title

* Pearce suffered two setbacks on his road to the British title. A loss to Neville Meade when still a raw teenager, and to John Rafferty, Pearce had knocked down Rafferty four times before he was disqualified in the 3rd round for punching after the referee had called break.

* Pearce fought and stopped Dennis Andries, the three times WBC world light heavyweight world champion, in the 7th round. Dennis Andries went 6 years before being stopped again! this time by the great Thomas Hearns. In the 10th round.

* Pearce, challenged and vowed to avenge his loss to Neville Meade to win the Welsh and British Heavyweight titles.

* Pearce is noted for boxing in the last 15-round British championship bout, as the contracts for the bout were finalised before the new 12-round format was introduced.




European heavyweight title

* The European heavyweight title fight saw Pearce knock down Lucien Rodriguez, the long-standig European Champion, twice in the 8th round. Both the counts were over 10 seconds, 13 and 17 seconds respectively, the most experienced judge scored the fight 114-115 and the referee score card read 115-114 for Pearce. Some observers, including Reg Gutteridge, felt Pearce was very unlucky not to get the verdict regarding the knockdowns.

* Lucien Rodriquez was quoted in the [[[Media of France#Newspapers|French press]] as saying that Pearce had been "the toughest man he had faced" in his whole boxing career, "he had an Iron Chin, and would walk you down taking a lot of punches just to unload his bombs, but he had devastating power!" and that "Pearce did what two World Champions couldn't do".

* Pearce was due to fight Buster Douglas and Leon Spinks at big events in America and Canada respectively. Although contracts were signed, the Leon Spinks fight fell through with 24hrs to go.



World Cruiserweight Title

* David signed a contract with Morgan's Palle, through Frank Warren to fight the winner between Ossie Occasio v John Odihamibo for the WBA Cruiserweight title before his boxing career was cruelly cut short.



Unsanctioned Bouts

Pearce knocked out John Tate, and Mary Konate, in 1 and 3 rounds respectively, in Bakersfield, California in 1994. This was reported by Mr John Francis of the South Wales Argus.




Other notable boxing facts

* Pearce ran up the steps of the Newport Transporter Bridge as a training aid.

* Pearce gave away at least 2 stone (28 lb; 13 kg) to most opponents during his career.

* Pearce won two Heavyweight Prizefighter Tournaments during his career.

* Pearce sparred 20 rounds with Commonwealth Heavyweight Champion Trevor Berbick in the lead up to Pearce's British Heavyweight Title fight. This included a knockdown of Berbick, Pearce was Trevor Berbick’s number one challenger to the commonwealth heavyweight title. Berbick decided not to defend against David Pearce.

* Joe Bugner was floored by David Pearce during a sparring session, before a possible bout with Pearce for his comeback fight. This resulted in Bugner choosing another opponent.

* Pearce sparred with Lennox Lewis, in the lead up to Lewis becoming British Heavyweight Champion.

* Pearce retired due to an abnormality on the brain, he was subsequently offered a contract to fight Lenny McLean, the guvnor in a Heavyweight Unlicenced British Title Fight, David signed the contract but McLean declined to fight.

* Bartley Gorman offered to fight David Pearce, for the unlicensed British Heavyweight Title for £25,000. Gorman, said if he had won the fight he would have fought for the world bare knuckle title. In his memoirs of an undefeated Bare Knuckle Champion of Great Britain and Ireland, "King of the Gypsies" that Gorman used the phrase "if he won.."

* David Pearce was good friends with Diana Dors and Alan Lake, who supported him in his 1st rd KO victory over 3 time European Heavyweight titlist Albert Syben.

* Sportswriter Harry Mullan was derogatory about Pearce's boxing style in some of his articles and this had a negative effect at the time. Mullan did praise Pearce in later years, however, for his bravery and achievements.



Notable quotes and tributes

* "Pearce is all action, he is a great crowd pleaser, he comes in flinging punches, cross armed in defence a lot like Rocky Marciano used to and boy does he throw them" "He certainly does unleash them" "He is a born fighter" – Reg Gutteridge – During the Felipe Rodriquez, fight at the Royal Albert Hall, London.

* "Pearce has won the fight and Pearce has gone berserk, he can hardly believe it!" "23 year old David Pearce,the Bomber they call him from Newport and he has bombed ferris out of the British heavyweight race!" "Well that was one of the most savagely, raw, attacking performances we have seen from a British Heavyweight in many years. That's a little bit like the old days of Dick Richardson and he came from Newport too!" – Reg Gutteridge. Post - David Pearce Final eliminator at the Royal Albert Hall, London.

* "I have never trained so hard in all my life. That was for my father, the people of Newport and also for myself." – Pearce, after his British Heavyweight Title fight at St Davids Hall, Cardiff.

* "Pearce won the European Heavyweight Title twice last night" in reference to the two long counts (13 & 17 seconds) Reg Gutteridge reporting on the European Heavyweight Title fight the next day.

* Frank Maloney said of Pearce: "They dont make them like him anymore! Pearce would have fought anybody!"

* Lucien Rodriguez said: “Pearce did what two World Champions couldn’t do” In reference to his fights with Larry Holmes and Michael Dokes

* Dick Richardson said: "David should have gone to London, he would have been a superstar. He is the most exciting heavyweight we have seen in many years".

* Bimbo Pearce said of his brother: "He would have been unstoppable at cruiserweight"

* Eddie Avoth calling him: “One of the greatest Welsh fighters we have produced”.

* Robbie Regan said: “He was the most avoided fighter in the heavyweight division”

* Steve Sims said: “What a left hook! He is sorely missed and Newport’s own Rocky.”

* Andy Gerrard said: "his power was truly unbelievable, he was a pound for pound king."

* "Dave Pearce was a legend, a true hard man." Charles Bronson

* Craig Kennedy British Cruiserweight challenger said “An absolute inspiration, I just wish I got to meet him”

* Lee Selby IBF World Featherweight Champion said “David Pearce was one hell of a fighter”
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JonD

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Re: David Pearce (Boxer) (Part 1)

Postby JonD » June 12th, 2018, 9:35 am

seven brothers, six of whom boxed professionally, and one who was a professional dancer


That's really great. What a mix.

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