Golden Gloves, boxing used to be a big event in area
Kyle Korner …
In years past the annual Golden Gloves boxing tournament used to be a very big event.
The bouts were held in the old Burch High School gymnasium up on the hill in downtown Delbarton.
At one time there were boxing clubs in Delbarton, Williamson, Gilbert and other communities in the Tug Valley area. There were even cards held at the Williamson Fieldhouse and I’ve been told in the old Memorial Building in downtown Williamson.
The local boxing club produced many outstanding boxers over the years.
Current Mingo County Circuit Clerk Grant Preece was one of those boxers. He became a state champion and then went on to box in the military in the early 1960s.
He became the Second Army
Preece, who grew up in the Delbarton area, brought by a booklet that his mother had saved for him which was called West Virginia Centennial Sports Greats for the state’s broken down by county. Preece was included in the Mingo County list for his accomplishments.
He also received a certificate from the W.Va. Centennial Commission which was dated April 6, 1963. That year marked the Mountain State’s 100th birthday.
Melvin Fulgham, a boxer from Williamson, was also on the list. He was a former professional fighter, who also started out in the Golden Gloves.
Former Mingo County Clerk Tommy Diamond, who also hailed from the Delbarton area. He went on to fight in the Marine Corp and came close to making the U.S. Olympic team back in his heyday.
Other championship fighters listed for Mingo County included William Hairston of Williamson, Mike Penner and Custer Perry of Delbarton.
My half-brother, the late Fred Caudill, was also a fine Golden Gloves boxer back in the late 1950s from what many local sports fans have told me.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s Delbarton’s Carey Lee Hatfield became a Golden Gloves champ and went on to have a few pro fights.
Mingo County has a long history of producing tough boxers, especially back in the days of the Golden Gloves.
Due to early press deadlines, the game stories and photos for Tug Valley’s Lady Panthers, Belfry’s Lady Pirates and the Mingo Central Miners tournament games from Thursday night will appear in the Sunday print edition of the Williamson Daily News. Check our on-line edition for the stories at williamsondailynews.com.
(Kyle Lovern is the sports editor for the Williamson Daily News. Comments or story ideas can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com)