Joe Devlin Receives Boxers Award

MAY 2005
- Honored For Numerous Sponsorships - Members of our Association have diverse and at times intriguing
backgrounds. Member Joe Devlin falls into both of these categories.

At
the recent annual banquet of the Boston branch of the International
Veteran Boxers Association, Devlin, a former correction officer and
welterweight boxer, received the Man of the Year award.

The
Boston branch of the International Association, known as Ring Four,
honored Devlin for his sponsorship of numerous activities as co-owner
of the Triple D's Sports Bar and Restaurant in Jamaica Plain.

These
sponsorships include baseball teams on all levels from Little League to
Park League, men's and women's softball teams, bowling teams, summer
camps for children, and the Golden Gloves program. And, in his own
quiet way, Joe has helped many former boxers who have been down on
their luck.

Ten years ago Joe was
earlier voted into the Ring Four Boxers Hall of Fame, which includes
such well-known former local ring warriors as Tony DeMarco, Paul
Pender, Tommy Collins, Tom McNeely, Joe DeNucci, Mickey Dwyer, Sal
Bartolo, “Irish” Bobby Quinn and Jack Sharkey.

A
Jamaica Plain native, Devlin boxed in the Golden Gloves as a youth and
later in the Army during the Korean War. After his discharge he entered
a career as a correction officer. While working as a C.O., he became a
professional boxer under the tutelage of Bernie Doherty, his trainer.

“It
was during the '50s and Boston was still a boxing hotbed,” recalls
Association President Ralph White who worked as a C.O. earlier in his
career. “Joe and his family moved to Mansfield. Joe got in his roadwork
running to the Walpole prison in the morning and training in the gym at
night. It was a tough grind,” White said.

Devlin
had eighteen pro-fights and was undefeated when on St. Patrick's Day,
March 17, 1958, he fought undefeated Tony Veranis at sold-out Boston
Garden. Joe won by a KO. Joe DeNucci, on the same card, was also a
winner.

Joe then went on to beat a
tough Canadian Champ, Armand Savoie, in a brutal ten rounds before
6,000 fans at the old Mechanics Hall in Boston. Devlin's nose was
severely damaged during the battle between the two warriors. After that
bout, Joe retired from the ring for two years before coming back in
1960 for two more victories and then finally hanging up the gloves.

During
his career as a correction officer, Devlin and his wife Helen raised a
family of nine and they now have 18 grandchildren. Bernie Doherty, his
trainer, is also retired from the Dept. of Correction. He now lives in
West Palm Beach Florida. Another member, Joe's buddy Joe Lordan, a
retired Boston firefighter, also lives in West Palm Beach next door to
the Devlin's winter home. In fact, there is a slew of Association
members who are neighbors within the same West Palm Beach complex.

And
on a balmy winter eve when they get together for a cookout, the talk
always turns to sports, and inevitably some of Joe Devlin's fights. Oh,
what memories.

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