STOCKTON'S BOXING HISTORY AS A FIGHT TOWN
Stockton was known by many for decades to be a mecca
for boxing in Northern California and to be a fight town, as was the case in San
Francisco and other California cities. Boxing is a form of entertainment in many
cities. Though silent in the last twenty years, the interest was never lost in
the fan, but only in the promoters.
Big Time World Championship Boxing and
Kickboxing is committed to resurrecting that
interest and love of the sport. Instead of the fan having to go to Los Angeles,
Las Vegas or a Pay-Per-View event, they are going to be able to see experienced,
quality, professional boxing and kickboxing in their backyard.
In 1971 Leonard Gardner wrote a book named Fat
City. John Rastark produced and John Huston directed a movie based on
the book. Stacey Keach, Jeff Bridges and Susan Tyrell starred in the movie.
The movie features Stockton throughout, from
beginning to end. The movie opens with Stockton's population sign at 102,000 and
pans through the downtown Stockton hotels and mission-many of which remain
standing today. Stockton has changed since the days of the onion and walnut
fields, but fan interest and boxing has not waned.
The movie is about an alcoholic boxer (Keach), a
young, idealistic kid (Bridges), and a lonely woman (Tyrell). They paint an
unforgettable portrait of people who have hit the ropes but refuse to abandon
their dreams. Fat City is tough and poignantly subtle in its honest portrayal of
ordinary people attempting to overcome extraordinary circumstances. The movie
Fat City tells us that even for boxers "life is what happens in between
The city of Stockton has had a very rich boxing
Fred Feary was born in Anderson, California on April
10, 1912. He moved to Stockton at age 12 and attended Jefferson Elementary
School and Stockton High School. In 1927, Feary fought his first amateur boxing
match, in San Francisco. Over the next five years, Feary ran up an impressive
string of wins all over northern California. He won a berth on the Olympic Team
when he won the National AAU Heavyweight Championship in Madison Square Gardens
in 1932. The Olympic Trials were held in San Francisco and he won the
heavyweight division. At the Olympic Games he took home the bronze and turned
professional with a record of 40-2. Also in 1932 he placed 3rd in the
Heavyweight Boxing division in Los Angeles. Feary retired in 1934 and became a
policeman in Stockton.
Al Avila was born in El Paso, Texas in 1917. In 1920
he moved to Stockton and started boxing in 1931 as an amateur in the Diamond
Belt, Golden Glove and State Championships.