When someone asks what athlete tried boxing that you know of usually Ed “Too Tall” Jones’ name comes up. This Dallas Cowboy almost lost his first fight in 1979 against Abraham Yaqui Meneses but won a majority decision and scored 5 straight knockouts after that before going back to the Cowboys at 6-0. He retired in 1980.
The old timers will tell you Charlie Powell, 25-11-3 (17) was the most successful. He played for the 49 ers and Raiders in the NFL. From 1953 to 1965 he gave boxing a good try. His biggest win was stopping Cuban Nino Valdez 46-15-3. In 1964 he lost to Floyd Patterson.
The one football player who ended up with the best record was Alonzo Highsmith, 27-1-2 (23). He played in the NFL for Houston, Dallas and Tampa. He was 0-1-1 in his last 2 bouts.
Mike Gastineau, 15-2 (15), who played for the NY Jets was sent into retirement by Highsmith. He reversed his first loss to Tim Anderson.
Currently former Notre Dame football player Mike Lee is 14-0 (8), at light heavyweight promoted by Top Rank.
Another former Notre Dame football player was Tom Zbikowski, 4-0 (3), who had a 75-15 amateur record. He started in 2006 winning his debut then quit until 2011 before retiring.
Bill Nieder was a 1960 Olympic shot put champion. He tried boxing in 1961 and lost to Jim Wiley and said “when you throw an iron ball it doesn’t come back at you.” He was 6-0 (6) in the amateurs.
Paul “Georgia Peach” Anderson was a 1956 Olympic weight lifting Gold medalist. He lost his first and last fights going 2-2 (2).
Please send all questions and comments to Ken Hissner at: Kenhissner@gmail.com
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