For a young man who cleaned up everything in sight as an amateur
and has blazed his way to the top in the moneyed ranks, Billy Speary,
the dark, good-looking Nanticoke, Pa., fighter, speaks of his exploits
with becoming modesty, of fact which alone makes him unique along rue de
This 23-year-old ringster, who is in town training for his fight
Monday at Maple Leave Gardens has only two things in mind right now and
one of them is to whip Harry Jeffra when they mingle in their 10-round
go -- their third meeting, incidentally, and the other is to join the
United States Air Corps.
Wife Accompanies Him Here
Billy expects to enlist "in a couple of
months," but he is worried last he fails to pass the educational
requirements necessary for
Back in his mind he has an idea of specializing in
electrical work in getting a job in a plant in his hometown of Nanticoke,
the city of about 28,000 population. This plan is heartily endorsed
by his pretty young wife, who accompanied him to Toronto for this match.
Mrs. Speary follows her husband on his ring travels
around the country (they've only been married since last May), and
confesses she has got over worrying about how hubby will fare once the
gong sounds for the first round. "I figured that Bill is good
enough to look out for himself against anybody," she says in stout
defense of her young husband.
Reluctantly, it seemed, Speary divulged something of
his record, but it took the best efforts of Matchmaker Jack Allen
and the writer to get him to talk. The gist of it is that he won
three national titles in the states, two international championships
against fighters from South America and Italy, and numerous Golden Glove
honors. He turned pro and has been fighting for cheques for three
years. In that time he has had thirty-four fights, losing 6 and
drawing in another.
Has Praise for Jeffra
The idea of a ring career appeal to him, he said, after
watching his brother Wes, now a commissioned officer in the United States
Navy, fighting. His brother was a lightweight and prevailed upon
Bill to enter the ring.
Having thought Jeffra twice before, Speary has a pretty
good idea what he's up against. "He's smart and he's
fast," Speary said of his rival of Monday night. Jeffra is a
counter- puncher of great ability, he added.