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Remembering Fred Marshall


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Fred Marshall, an 89-year-old Monterey Peninsula native who reached the finals of the 1944 U.S. Amateur National Boxing Championships, died Dec. 26 at his Seaside home after a period of failing health.


Marshall lost the title bout that year to Johnny Bratton, despite decking him twice. Seven years later, Bratton would defeat Charley Fusari to win the world welterweight championship as a pro.


Marshall was born Dec. 4, 1921 in an area of Carmel that was known as Tortilla Flats. His grandmother, Maria Dixon Soto, was a Native American Chumash who was well-known locally as "Mamita."


As a teenager, Marshall would run to Seaside to watch boxers during their workouts, a habit that eventually drew him into the ring, where he began to train under Tex West. He fought multiple bouts at the Salinas Armory and the Presidio of Monterey, then won the California Golden Gloves championship as a lightweight in 1943. He also won the Oklahoma Golden Gloves crown while serving in the U.S. Army at Camp Gruber, where he was part of the Rainbow Division. He also fought as an amateur on the undercard of a Joe Louis bout in Chicago.


He compiled an amateur record of 175 victories and 14 losses before turning pro on Aug. 5, 1947, at the Civic Ice Arena in Seattle, where he lost his debut to Hal Holloway, an opponent who brought a 4-0 record into the ring.


In fact, Marshall lost his first three pro fights, then finished his career by winning seven of his last eight. All 11 of his bouts took


place in 1947, and seven took place at the San Jose Civic Auditorium. Marshall is survived by his wife of 67 years, Anne, sons Fred Jr., Mike, Steve and Johnny, three siblings, 13 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren.



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