Chuck Taylor came from a Coalport mining family and developed his boxing prowess while serving with the U.S. Army Military Police during World War II.
After the war, he came home to Coalport and began to sponsor boxing instructions for boys and young men, including his own sons.
He also fought in matches throughout the Northeast and Midwest until his career ended in 1952. Taylor engaged some then-famous boxers such as Tony Janiero and, most famously, his ill-fated match with reigning welterweight champ, Sugar Ray Robinson, in December of 1947 in Detroit.
The nearly unknown Taylor put up a tough fight against Robinson, threatening to topple him until after a round bell rang. Robinson sucker-punched Taylor, breaking some ribs and sending him to the hospital.
Taylor’s manager sent a telegram of protest to the Michigan Boxing Commission, but no action was taken to overturn the match.
Taylor, in his career, won 38 fights with nine knockouts. He lost 22 and scored two draws. He retired from boxing and became a power line construction worker before passing away in 1988.
During the winter of 1947, Taylor sponsored four bouts, featuring local amateurs in Coalport, Houtzdale and Osceola Mills.
Each one ensured a packed house of 600 to 700 in attendance, even with the entrance fee of $1! Taylor’s local fame, then, was at high tide. The Houtzdale Citizen-Standard called him: “Coalport’s pride of the fistic world.”