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Pic Magazine July 11, 1939

If all Bill Speary's boxing titles were laid end to end, some poor type setter would have to work overtime, for Bill has amassed 13 titles in the last three years. He has won three National A.A.U. tournaments, three New York Golden Gloves tournaments, three Middle Atlantic tournaments, three inter-city tourneys, and an international meet between American and South American amateurs. He has six championship belts and a score of medals (above). Bill's ambition is to add to his collection the gilded sterling silver medal awarded in the Olympics. Since he started boxing in 1936 his goal has been the Olympic Team, and the featherweight title. Bill lives in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, in the heart of coal-mining country. His older brother, Wesley, who is no slouch as a fighter himself, interested Bill in boxing. That was in 1936 when Bill was finishing high school. He started at 104 pounds in the bantamweight division. Now he is up to 124 and fights in the featherweight class. In three years he has had more than 200 fights and won better than 100 by knockouts. He's lost only 10 fights - nine by decisions, and one by technical knockout when a cut over his eye caused the referee to end the fight. He fights for no club or organization and is trained by Art Thomas. Training, he believes, is a matter of living a sensible life. He does road work when he feels like it and eats whatever & whenever he pleases. His idol is Max Schmeling; his hobby is hunting, and judging from his trophies, his aim is as deadly as his right. At home and around town, he is a quiet young man with no taste for publicity. He fights and lives clean and steers clear of matches which might endanger his amateur standing. (Exclusive PIC photos by Sam Andre.)

Bill (right) has frequently boxed exhibition bouts with Dicky Powell (left), another Nanticoke boy who has made something of a name for himself in various Eastern Golden Gloves tournaments.


The Pocono Mountains, which border the Susquehanna River that runs through Nanticoke, are Bill's training grounds. Running over the hills and up and down mountain roads has given Bill a pair of legs that seldom tire in the ring. He likes to be outdoors and enjoys his morning jaunts.


Nanticoke citizens often drop up to meet Billy and watch him go through a work-out. There is usually someone around with whom to spar. The firemen are glad that Bill has no regular gym; they enjoy watching the youngsters and are only too happy to have the fire house his headquarters.


ART THOMAS (left), coach of the New York Golden Gloves tournament and a mine worker in Nanticoke, trains Speary. Bill has several years of boxing ahead of him yet, but thus far has shown no desire to turn pro. Fighting in the '40 Olympics is more important to him than fighting for gate receipts.
There's no fighting around the Speary home.  Edward Speary, Bill's father works for a coal company but he never let's his work keep him from attending a bout in the Wyoming valley region.  Bill's mom is equally interested but insists that her son doesn't let his boxing keep him from Sunday School.

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Bill does his road-work from the driver's seat of a bus which he drives for a living. Bill lives in a "Company" house built by the company for which his father works.

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