This is the latest in an occasional series of posts leading up to the 125th anniversary of the founding in December 1896 of the local Knights of Columbus and the centennial of the start of construction in 1922 of the former Glens Falls Knights of Columbus hall at the corner of Warren and Center streets. The building is now the offices of the FitzGerald Morris Baker Firth law firm and Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Harold “Honeyboy” Hughes of Glens Falls received three battle stars and a boxing title while serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
Hughes, age 33, a former professional boxer, won a series of six consecutive three-round matches at Hawaii and California by decision to win the Lightweight SeeBee Championship of the 14th Naval District, The Post-Star reported on Dec. 21, 1945.
The 139-pound Hughes fought what is believed to be his first professional fight in front of a capacity crowd Nov. 22, 1933 at the Glens Falls Knights of Columbus gym against 137-pound Al Santora of New York City.
“Turning in the greatest fight of his young career, Harold “Honeyboy” Hughes, the quick-thinking, blond, lightweight now making his headquarters in this city, jabbed, punched, weaved and maneuvered himself to a decisive victory over Al Santora of New York, twice Golden Gloves champion, in the main attraction of an excellent all-round fight card last night at the Knights of Columbus auditorium,” Post-Star Sports Editor Don Cunnion reported the next morning.
Hughes won the eight-round fight by decision.
“Never before did Hughes appear in such perfect physical condition. Every nerve and fiber of his lithe, strong body was tuned to precision and he constantly out boxed his opponent.”
Hughes fought more than 600 times over a span of years.
He said his toughest bout was against former lightweight world champion Tony Canzoneri at Utica in the winter of 1935.
Hughes started boxing at age 16, in the late 1920s, when he was a student at Granville High School.
He won his first fight at Danby, Vt., and went on to compile an impressive record of 21 knockout victories in his first 27 fights.
During his professional years, Hughes trained at the Knights of Columbus and Glens Falls YMCA gyms.
Art Sherman was his manager.
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