Signing the leather… Former heavyweight boxing champ Deacon Bowers signs gloves 61 years later

Published 11:41 am Friday, May 15, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...
He had just returned as the Southern Heavyweight Champ in 1959 and would be facing Buddy Hunt of Morristown.
The Boxing Association said it would be a toss because of Hunt’s speed and that he was a very good boxer. Bowers from Stoney Creek had blinding speed for a heavyweight and poised great power.
He was labeled as one of the four horseman of boxing.
One fan, a Stoney Creeker, that would attend the fight that night was Herb Colbaugh.
Herb and his wife had recently had a baby boy and a daughter of about three years old. Also on the card that night with Bowers was Jackie Range, Red Peters, and Wayne Pierce also from Stoney Creek.
All four boxers from Elizabethton would be successful in their matches with Bowers being the main event.
After the fights, Herb made his way past the overcrowded arena to speak to Bowers.  He explained he had a new son and wonder if Bowers would maybe save him a pair of his old gloves for his son.
Bowers slipped off the 10oz boxing gloves he had just won the fight with and handed them to Herb.

They were passed to Herb’s son and had been in a storage building for collectibles for over 60 years until recently when they were purchased.
The buyer immediately contacted Bowers and ask if he would sign then. He agreed and they met at the Eagles Co-op in downtown Elizabethton as Bowers recalled giving the man the gloves.
He remembered them well and giving them to Herb that Saturday evening.
It delighted Bowers to see the gloves again and what good shape they were in.
Bowers said, “ I won many fights with those gloves.” Bowers went on to win a second Southern title and became one of the greatest referee’s in the boxing business.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox