George Chuvalo | The Scoop with Bola Ray | Talkin Fight
EPISODE: Episode 54
George Louis Chuvalo CM is a Canadian former professional boxer who was a five-time Canadian heavyweight champion and two-time world heavyweight title challenger.
Watch The Scoop from Monday to Friday featuring Canadian heavyweight champ Bola Ray, who lends his vast experience in the sport and provides his comments and analysis on boxing, on YouTube and TalkinFight.com/live. #boxinghistory @georgeforeman
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There are boxing fans around the world.
Welcome to another episode of the scoop featuring the champ bowl array, how you doing champ, oh smashing, smashing awesome good to hear hey, listen, you know what i have.
I have a personal note uh to precede this uh episode.
I actually met the gentleman who you’re about to yeah.
You probably did too, but i’m just saying as a civilian, i think it’s pretty cool that uh the guy you’re about to talk about.
I actually met oh yeah, yeah, yeah i’ll.
Tell i’ll tell you afterwards uh the rest of that story, but uh go ahead.
All right on you go so um.
Today’S episode, i’m gon na showcase, not just a great fighter um, but a great man.
As far like, at least to me, he’s um.
He was a father of four sons, but only one is with us today, tragically um, even though he was never a world champion.
He actually is the only man, the only canadian to have won the canadian heavyweight title questionably more than me, with anywhere from three three times being champion to five, depending on who you, who you ask uh yeah.
My name is bola raymond oluwali, and this is the scoop so born september 12.
1967 right here in toronto to two croatian expats was none other than george chavello uh.
His early life was a modest one, with his father working at a meat packing plant and his mother was plucking chickens.
Um to make ends meet right next to the village that i grew up in toronto um.
So for you, people who aren’t in toronto or in canada, this episode tickles me a lot more than most simply because one well, not just i know, george but more importantly, we grew up in neighboring villages within the city of toronto.
So i go down memory path.
Memory lane a lot in this episode.
No, he was born in 37.
Did i say: 67 thousand pardons born september 12, 37, but yeah he um.
He started his boxing career uh at a really young age, um again in the basement: saint mary’s, polish catholic church um.
In the junction like again, there’s sort of cool a little history lesson there um but then moved on to uh train out of alder uh earl earl’s court athletic club.
I’M not too sure.
I remember that, though, by noah earl’s court area, um conflicting number of amateur fights in his career, but what is consistent across the board is the boy could punch.
He had a lot of knockouts and a lot of power.
Now, in 1956 he won the canadian amateur heavyweight title in regina, but something something i didn’t know was that he was offered the opportunity to go to the uh 1956 melbourne summer olympic games representing canada, but opted to turn pro so as he could actually support his Family now so he turns pro later on that year and what a way to turn pro so april.
1956 uh, the former world champion jack dempsey, hosts a professional novice boxing tournament, novice being relatively like well in the amateurs it’s under five fights uh, i’m not too sure what the criteria was for this show, but um.
He fought four times in one night.
Four knockouts: he amassed a whole 12 minutes and 37 seconds of boxing action in four fights in one round in one night, not a bad way to start off your career, not a bad way at all, um.
Moving forward to september 15, 1958 george steps into his office and squares off against one james, j, parker and walks out of the ring with his first of many canadian heavyweight championship.
Titles george followed this up with a title defense against my main man, the fighting fisherman.
I don’t know where he got, that name: oh, but it just tickles me um evanderel and won a unanimous decision, um or actually he.
I think he.
I think he actually stopped yvonne durell, but august 17th 1960.
He then goes up for his first time against uh of three against one bob clero of quebec.
Sorry get back but lost this fight, um way of split decision.
Now this fight was an epic dance, 12-round, epic dance because it was the rematch was highly anticipated.
Um and it in it didn’t disappoint, especially george, because george won the canadian title back so he’s a two-time canadian heavyweight champion by this point in time.
Um george goes on um to fight uh or defend this title um one more time against mr clero but the following year, but uh yeah.
It wasn’t meant to be and he loses again due to a split decision now.
History has that george has another fight post.
This, where george has been disqualified because of headbutting um yeah uh.
So i think those two losses back to back actually stung george, a bit and uh yeah he mentioned, or he announced his retirement for the first time now, 18 months later, he’s back in the square circle again and uh george puts together us a win streak of Five fights over – i guess pretty much the course of the year um with four knockouts.
Only to then go up against our good friend, zora.
Well, he’s way more experienced way more higher boxing iq than georgia at the time and when’s.
This fight relatively easy.
Um george admits after the council of his orders, just was way too experienced for him at the time.
Um joy kept his jab right in george’s face the whole fight.
It was just a simple um, a simple strategy of just uh stick and moves.
Take a move because – and he refused to allow george to get inside close on him because he knew that it was curtains if he did so yay zora george brushes himself off and gets back into the back on the horse and puts together another string of knockouts Of course, and just how that’s just how my main man rules, one of these fights happened to be against hugh messier in regina for the canadian heavyweight title of which george won for the third time.
Now after this he his next opponent is legendary.
Floyd patterson floyd wins this fight unanimous decision, but what i found was noteworthy was that this fight took place february, 1st 1965 and early in the year, as most people know february is, but it won fight of the year by ring magazine.
It was that entertaining fight.
It was that action-packed to fight that one in a fight a year.
It was nothing better all around for us a year by fight by ring magazine.
Huh 1965 saw george in action seven times this different times than today, because you don’t fight you, don’t see, fighters fighting seven times a year.
Um i’d love to it just doesn’t happen after uh, the fights he put together.
Another string of knockouts um victories only to run into an inter row, um for ernie’s wba uh heavyweight title now.
This was a interesting scenario in that muhammad ali had just been stripped of his wba title after he had beat sonny liston, and then he gave sonny liston an immediate rematch when wba didn’t have him as the uh the mandatory, so they stripped and ernie took the Ernie end up fighting and winning the wba belt.
Now, even though he was arguably the world champion um, he wasn’t recognized as such, because well he wasn’t beaten.
He was stripped so uh yeah.
He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder with that now ernie.
He won the fight with his left hand and left hand alone, like literally ernie was a smaller man like a smaller weight and whatnot and frame and stuff.
But he was also a lot taller and he just pretty much put his left hand on his forehead on george’s forehead and just kept it there for the whole 15 rounds post fight.
There was some bad blood um, to say the least, because ernie believed that george was relying too much on poor tactics like head butting throughout the fight and uh george was equally displeased by the fight um and was heard screaming at his manager or of angerman.
In the changing room out uh afterwards, because george didn’t have a problem with the fight he didn’t want to lose in front of his hometown.
That’S just unacceptable! It shouldn’t have been a tough fight like this in his hometown, so be it march.
29 1966 george finally meets up against the man himself muhammad ali, even though the fight went the way one would expect it to in that ali being the master boxer that he is, would easily dance circles around the slower, strong but slower form on george chavello um.
In researching for his episode, i was mildly impressed with the fact that george took that fight on 17 days notice.
Now yeah people say like you should always stay in the gym, always stay in the gym and train.
But you don’t like at least that’s what i was told, but the reality is that it’s not always financially feasible um and it’s also so hard to keep yourself motivated when there’s nothing on the horizon.
Only to have a fight of this magnitude dropped in your lap and you take it 17 days later and he didn’t not only did he not drop, he didn’t get stopped.
He heard the final bell, like that’s rather impressive, to to the greatest that he heard the final bell come on now.
Um it was uh, it was it was.
It was rather impressive.
At least i i was uh very much impressed now.
Um george finished out 1966, with 10 fights, several wins um and all seven were by knockouts.
He started off 67 with pretty much the same scenario um that he ended uh last year with, with seven fights, six wins six by knockout and the seventh.
What’S up against? None other than smoking, don’t freak out.
This fight could be the first time anyone can actually say.
You know what george fellow is actually human like.
What do you want from the guy? You know um, even though george was bigger and stronger than joe joe frazier was a bad man say the least he ended up breaking george’s orbital bone in the fourth round, and that was the end of the fight um [ Music ].
Now this is the first time george ever got stopped in his career.
He didn’t get, he didn’t touch canvas.
He was never knocked down, but he couldn’t continue so um.
They move forward in the next 13.
Fights that george had he amassed.
12 wins with one unanimous loss to buster, matheson, okay, but 11 knockouts, and these weren’t, just flippant fighters he’s knocking out greats like jerry quarry and cleveland williams.
The cleveland williams former world champion jerry corey.
How many times did you fight for a world title? You know and he’s stopping these guys um.
I don’t understand like why mike horror hasn’t made a show on this guy.
You want knockouts this guy.
Does it in spades just putting it out there the big he then goes up against the juggernaut of all juggernauts.
After this 13 fight streak in big george foreman, oh sweet, mother and uh, the bigger stronger foreman was just too much for chanel.
He put an unbelievable beating on chevelle, where george, where chevelle was in the corner turtling and the referee mercilessly called the fight in the third round.
This was the second time, but also the last time chevelle was ever stopped in his career.
Cheryl got back on the horse and he’s doing what he loves and masked another eight wins in nine fights with seven knockouts only to go up against the man himself, muhammad ali, for the second time.
This is now may 1st 1975 for muhammad ali’s north american boxing federation title – and this was just another boxing clinic by ali, but he does walk or ollie doesn’t walk away unscathed from either of these fights.
Um george loves to tell me he used to tell me about how, after they fought both times, aldi went to the hospital because he was peeing.
Blood and george went dancing with his wife, so um, you know what you do.
You know now post this fight.
George goes on to have seven more fights before calling it quits and he does it in george chavel fashion with seven knockouts.
He doesn’t get bored of this.
It’S just you know.
It was an amazing way to finish off a 22-year boxing career uh, the amount of times that he fought, the canadian uh as a canadian heavyweight champion is up for debate.
Some articles say three box wreck has a uh four, maybe even five um his, but his final fight was for the title and he went on top.
I think i don’t know if you can ask for much more.
It was just a fitting touch, a fitting a fitting send off for such a legend.
So now life after boxing wasn’t that kind to george george’s youngest son became addicted to heroin after a motorcycle accident um, and he was using it for pain relief.
Now he ended up committing suicide march 18 1985 at the at the age of 20.
George’S two older boys also addicted to heroin and george lee was found dead in a hotel in toronto october 17th, so october, 31st.
This was bad.
This is real bad.
It was really hard on george’s wife lynn, who ended up taking her own life two days later, with a drug via drug overdose, with prescription drugs george’s.
Second, youngest son, stephen and overdosing august 17th, 1996 was found dead in the sister of vanessa’s apartment couple.
This with the death of his granddaughter who died at an incredibly young age of 30 by the hands of cancer.
I don’t know exactly how the man keeps it together, like i, i don’t get it.
I’M friends with his last remaining son mitch: um who’s, amazing, spitting image of george, except he’s, shorter, he’s a school teacher and uh and he’s thriving.
George went on to do talks all over the country to steer kids away from drugs and just tell a story about what he had to go through or what he’s experienced and and in in hopes of well, it doesn’t steer him away from drugs.
The pain remember, hearing him talk about what he misses most one of the things he misses most is not being able to smell his loved ones, just touch them hold them smell, never come back.
It’S in it’s the smell.
The sentence is in his head.
It will always be with them, but yeah.
It’S it’s a hard go now.
Thankfully george is still with us today, but unfortunately he’s uh suffering from late stages, uh from dementia.
He he doesn’t remember who we are anymore, but we will never forget him for many reasons.
He was, he was just a phenomenal fighter, a great man outside the ring um again to me to me he was a great man outside the ring um.
We even went so far as to find ourselves on movie films on movie sets.
Television sets the dabbled in film for a bit too.
Like he’s, he was just.
He was just a great guy who was always had time to sit down and talk to him, especially if you’re a young fighter.
Oh my god.
If you’re a young fighter he’s more than willing to sit down and talk to you always wanting to sit there and take pictures with fans and what have you i wish i could wish him well, i i know that it doesn’t look good for him but um.
I just want to say thanks and yeah: that’s my show.
So if you like this, show please hit the like button and subscribe.
Don’T forget the notification bell? It’S your boy, bala! That’S the school! Thanks very much ray! That’S a heartfelt touching story! I must say: george cevallo is a great canadian, great canadian fighter, uh champion of uh, not only human rights but uh, trying to save those young people and get him uh on the right track.
Absolutely he’s got a great story to tell and not many people can tell the way he can tell it going up against the greats back in the day and surviving what he survived.
So it’s truly an incredible story: yeah and we all we all wish him well in his uh.
Let’S admit it his last days but uh anyway, thanks again for sharing that uh, my story pales in comparison.
I uh i was a lo.
I was a lowly uh bus boy in a restaurant at the holiday and out by oshawa, and it was a sunday night, a very quiet night in the restaurant and all of a sudden.
We had 10 people pile in just like that and uh.
The waitresses were buzzing around and maitre d came over to me and he goes do you know who that is and uh and the major d was you wanted to call a cricket? He was a cricket.
He was like five foot, nothing but a great, a great major d, a great matridge.
He taught me a lot of things as a 17 18 year old kid anyway.
He goes, you know who that is, and i go no.
I don’t because we were quite used to having a lot of relatively famous people eat at the restaurant, because it was the only hotel in the whole at that time, in the whole durham region and back in the day they used to have epic mossport the formula.
One races, so we used to get a lot of very famous canadian international racers, like aj foyt and erin senna, a lot of uh, really famous uh formula one race.
One matter is this: we didn’t make a fuss of famous people when they came in so he goes.
You know that doesn’t nope.
That’S george zavallo so anyway uh all.
I only knew because remember this is like 1978.
I was just about to go to university, so it’s just a couple years after his mohammed knee fight, so i certainly know who george fellow was, but i didn’t.
I didn’t recognize him so anyway, um i’m helping with the serving of the table.
I mean, like everyone else, was and – and i asked uh major d vino – i said vino.
Can i get his autograph? No, you cannot get his autograph.
We are professionals and we do oh come on uh.
So i didn’t.
I didn’t get it.
I didn’t ask uh but i’ll tell you incredibly pleasant man uh a gentleman very polite uh, please, and thank you uh, and it’s something that you remember.
It’S something that you, you know you say wow, what a great guy and to this day i can recall that story very easily, because it’s quite a memory um you know for, for.
I don’t know how, many years ago, but uh there was 1978-ish in that restaurant and he was such a gentleman and he was so nice and so polite and he had an entire entourage.
Who’S trying to you know, engage him and talk to him, and yet he had.
He had all the time in the world.
For me, uh and i was just serving meals and serving whatever, and you know just being polite with him back and you know not trying to let it be known that hey man i’d really like your autograph but uh, but i never got it.
I never got it and uh you know later on in life, i went on to meet many other famous people and uh.
In my entire life of all the famous people i ever got the autograph four was one when i was interviewing anne murray because of my best friend tim, his mother, wanted to anne marie’s autograph.
So i did ask for hers, and the other was a band called the cure, who uh that’s a long story, but that’s uh that those are only two people so of all the very very famous people i’ve met in my lifetime.
I only asked for two autographs and those are the two people, but i never.
I had the opportunity to ask george chavala for his because he was being so nice to me so kindly it would have been just like that.
But my maitre d was on my shoulder.
You know flipping about and there’s no way in the world.
He was going to.
Let me uh, you know cow towel and bow down and say please, sir, could i have your autograph? He wasn’t going to allow it.
We were professionals and it was what they call a friend.
George – would have totally done it.
Oh absolutely what if he would, he would have said he would have said, sit down here and who’s got a camera.
That’S what he would have said.
I guarantee you.
I guarantee it yeah he’s a really good guy.
He really was.
He was very uh.
Quite frankly entertaining he was uh.
He was the life of the party and these guys weren’t drinking.
They were on the stop.
I think they were coming from montreal on the way to toronto, so they were just stopping in for dinner on their way back and uh.
It was a really memorable visit, so they were getting hammered or anything like the f1 racers but uh anyway.
So, just a short little tag on to the end of this conversation uh.
He was indeed a great guy, you know and uh you know kid mitch, that’s uh, i’m sure he knows daughter vanessa as well, but the point is great guy and that boy, you know when things go wrong, they really go wrong and boy.
Do they go wrong for him too bad man too bad anyway, great great story, thanks very much again and thanks very much good viewership for for watching hanging in there? Listening to my babble, uh, we’ll see you tomorrow, night ray on friday night and uh winded out our series on those who impacted muhammad ali and enabled him to become the greatest uh.
George shaffah was certainly part of that crew and that we enjoyed listening to that story.
Thanks very much.
I appreciate we’ll see you tomorrow.