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How is this trainer not in the IBHOF?


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The Story of Harry Wiley: Boxing’s Greatest Unsung Trainer


By Buddy Gibbs


“I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well.” – Alexander the Great


If you ask the average boxing fan who ‘Sugar’ Ray Robinson was, they will know exactly who you’re referring to. But, if you ask them who trained this ring legend into perfect fighting form you might as well be speaking another language. Harry Wiley trained Ray Robinson from the time he was an amateur until the Sugarman was nearly grey-headed and he also worked with many other fighters in his career. Although training a world champion and pound-for-pound great like the Harlem Hurricane is a great accomplishment, it is far from being the only success this forgotten teacher had in his career. It is almost criminal that one of boxing’s greatest trainers in its history never gets even a whisper of his name among fans and experts alike today. Somehow even the International Boxing Hall of Fame have shamefully not given him the credit owed to him. Hopefully, this article will shine some light on not only the impact that Wiley had on his fighters but on the sport of boxing.


Growing up in the Harlem section of New York in the early 1900s was not for the weak. If you did not possess a fighting spirit, you were not going to survive. Wiley had it and learned he could handle himself well whenever tested. So, he started boxing in local gyms under the encouragement of his father. It didn’t take long for him to get a reputation or for him to get mixed in with some of the local kid gangs that roamed the streets trying to survive life’s daily struggles. His father, of course, wanted the best life for his family and after getting a promotion at the post office, moved them to New Jersey for what he thought would be a better environment for his children. But Wiley’s reputation had touched the ears of some of the boxing boys back in New York and it was not long before they had him back in Harlem and boxing at the Y.M.C.A.


Read more: The Story of Harry Wiley: Boxing’s Greatest Unsung Trainer - The Grueling Truth

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