|Interview with Anthony ‘TKO’ Boyle - A Philly Favorite!
Interview by Ken Hissner (May 12, 2008) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © phillyboxinghistory.com)
There are certain fighters in Philly that when you mention their names the boxing people’s faces light up and they start telling you “I saw him when…” Well, Anthony ‘TKO’ Boyle was one of them!
This is one of the, if not the most enjoyable interview I have done. The stories than can and can’t be printed are good ones. Talk about a guy who never forgot his roots. Boyle is still
involved with amateur boxing as the Philadelphia Director of the Golden Gloves while working at K&A Auto Salvage Inc. He is still one of those people who never forgot the Kensington and Allegheny area.
Ken Hissner: Tell us about that extensive amateur record of yours?
Anthony Boyle: I was Junior Olympics state champion from 11-15 years old. I was state champion in the Golden Gloves from 16-19. My amateur record was 136-8.
KH: Who trained you and what gym did you work out in Philly?
AB: My dad, Bob, started me off and I had a list of trainers like Billy Maher (PA HOF member), Jack Costello, Willie O’Neil, Jimmy Beecham, Tommy Forte (PA HOF member) and ended up with Wesley Mouzon. Mouzon was one of the best human beings I ever met. I only wished I would have hooked up with him earlier. I trained in almost every gym in the city. When I was 11 my dad took my brother Brian (who was 9) to the ABC Gym at 26th & Masters. He sent me down the street to a store to get him a cup of tea. I think he just wanted me to realize the environment that I was in and give me confidence. I would later come back there when training at 26th & Thompson and Mr. Mayfield who ran the store remembered me. I was the only white kid in that Philly Rec tournament. We also had what were called “gym workouts” and I was 13 fighting 15 and 16 year olds like Bryan ‘Boogaloo’ Jones who almost made the Olympic team.
KH: You started your pro career in January of 1985 in Atlantic City.
AB: I fought James Irby who I didn’t know was a southpaw until two minutes before the fight. I stopped him in the fourth. We then helped rejuvenate the Blue Horizon.
KH: After scoring 3 more knockouts you beat tough Rodney Fennell (3-1-1).
AB: I found it easier with good fighters because I could figure them out.
KH: Then you are back in Atlantic City, and then the Zembo Mosque, in Harrisburg and again find yourself in against a tough opponent, Doug Pettiford (4-6-2) of Delaware. You are held to a draw in a six rounder.
AB: I had beaten Delaware’s top amateur Stevie Martin and may have taken this fight a little too lightly, though I thought I won.
KH: You start out in 1986 with a split decision over Mike Brown (8-14).
AB: He was one of those guys with long arms whom I had probably fought three or four times in the amateurs. These types always gave me more trouble.
KH: You had an 11 month lay-off after the Brown fight. What happened?
AB: I was having manager problems with Jack Costello. You know, between him and (J. Russell) Peltz, who is a fan’s promoter, I was never put in easy fights like a lot of the white kids are today.
KH: In 1987 you win 4 straight and in 1988 are put in with Michael Green (9-1-2) who hadn’t lost in his last nine fights. It’s your first fight in Atlantic City since 1985.
AB: He was a tough opponent and I won an eight round decision over him.
KH: You are then put in with Johnny Carter (33-5) who had fought fellow Philly fighter Jeff Chandler for his WBA title. It was a step up for you.
AB: I got cut in the very first round and my cut man Eddie ‘Clot’ Aliano was out of town. Milt Bailey, Frazier’s cut man was able to fill in and did a good job stopping it throughout the 10 rounds. I won a majority decision. I remember later I was in ‘Slim Jim’ Robinson’s gym and Carter asked me what I was thinking near the end of the last round. I told him “one more round and I’m getting you out of there”.
KH: You get a 10 round win and meet up with Luis Rivera who had beaten Manuel Batista (20-4) in Puerto Rico. It was the only fight on his record.
AB: I had a lot of guys like that who had a lot more fights than I was told. I stopped him in three and would get Troy Dorsey next.
KH: He was one tough fighter who was a kickboxer and later a world boxing champ (holding the IBF featherweight title).
AB: The promoter, Peltz sends me a tape of Dorsey. When I get to the weigh-in I find out it was a tape of Dorsey’s brother. He was the toughest fighter I ever fought. We were in Atlantic City and had each other down several times. Ferdie Pacheco was doing the announcing on television. With seconds to go he said “the worst Boyle should get in this fight is a draw”. Dorsey had me on the ropes when suddenly the referee Joe Cortez steps in and stops the fight with probably 5 or 6 seconds to go. I couldn’t believe it.
KH: Two fights later you are back at the Blue Horizon with former WBA bantam champ Julian Solis (38-10-1) who had lost his title to Chandler.
AB: After a couple of punches I was having problems seeing which lasted for almost three rounds. I started coming on after that and we each had scored knockdowns. I was cut in the sixth round straight up and down my nose and the doctor was called in. He said “no punch could have done that”. It didn’t matter to the ref or judges, I lost. The fans went nuts! I went to the Hahnemann Hospital to get stitched up. This Spanish kid was there getting stitched up too. The fight was on local TV and I asked him “did you watch the fight?” He said “I was there and your friends beat me up”. I told him “you must have been rooting for the wrong guy”. Several months later I’m walking down the street when Stan “the cut man” yells over to me “how’s the eyes”? He had worked Solis’ corner. I told him “it was a cut that stopped the fight not my eyes”. He then tells me how Solis was rubbing his gloves in the dressing room before the fight on a stucco wall. That is what got into my eyes. I couldn’t believe he didn’t say something when it happened. I was very discouraged with boxing then and took off for 14 months.
KH: You come back with a tough fighter from Ireland, Bobby McCarthy (10-2-1) at the Blue Horizon and win a close decision that started a 5 fight win streak ending with a knockout of Luis Maysonet (8-2) who would win 10 straight after that fight.
AB: You can’t go by records with fighters.
KH: It’s 1992 and you are matched with Frankie Mitchell (28-1) whose only loss was to Brian Mitchell for the WBA super feather title. This was for his NABF crown.
AB: I probably won the first six rounds and started running out of gas. The fight was stopped in the 11th round. In the dressing room I was urinating blood and the doctor said “you didn’t take that many body punches but you are dehydrated”. I had simply over trained for that fight.
KH: You got a couple of wins and fought for the vacant IBO title the end of 1993 with Chuck Sturm (27-3-1) in Aspen Colorado, stopping him in the 11th round.
AB: My trainer, Wesley Mouzon and I were ecstatic after winning that title.
KH: A strange thing happened in your next two fights in Philly. You lose both by questionable decisions in your hometown.
AB: I fought Carl Griffith (27-3-2) for his USBA title. I lose a split decision. I couldn’t believe it. The Blue Horizon was packed. They had to call a “triple threat” which meant police would be coming in from all over the city expecting a riot.
KH: You fight three months later for the now vacant USBA title against Marty Jakubowski (75-1) who would end up with 110 wins by the end of his career.
AB: The fight was in Philly at the Convention Center and he ran all night and they gave him the decision and that caused a riot.
KH: You would have one more fight at the end of 1994 which would be your last winning one beating Roland Commings (22-13-2).
AB: I had been offered a fight with Oscar De La Hoya for his WBO lightweight title in November but would not have enough time to be in proper shape. They gave Griffith the fight instead. He had an injured orbit from our fight in April. In December I beat Commings.
KH: In your next and last fight you are at the Blue Horizon against John Lark (20-4), again for the vacant USBA title, February of 1995. Two fights later he would fight for the IBF lightweight title. You were only 29 years old.
AB: I was on the scale two or three times before making weight. I had nothing left by the ninth.
KH: You end up with a 26-6-1 (12 KOs) record and are eventually inducted into the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame and are still only the age of Bernard Hopkins.
AB: Bernard and I grew up together. We were both attending a benefit for referee Frank Cappuccino. I drive from work in my Corvette. It was the only time I ever splurged on myself. Hopkins sees me and rips me about spending all that money on a car. He was involved with Jazz Jarrett at the time with “Together Brothers” and gives me his phone number. Well, some time later I hear he has a Bentley, that’s worth probably a couple hundred thousand dollars. I call his house and tell his wife “I’m Anthony Boyle with Jazz Jarrett’s “Together Brothers”. He gets on the phone and did I rip him about his Bentley. We couldn’t stop laughing. He takes a bad rap but is really a nice guy.
KH: Well, I really enjoyed this interview and look forward to seeing you at the amateur shows in Philly.
AB: First I’m taking the family to Disney. I look forward to reading it when I’m back.
e-mail Ken at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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