Hall of Famer
Inducted in 1969
National featherweight title
World featherweight title, twice
Jackie Callura started in life by defending himself as a scrappy kid in the rough Hamilton neighbourhood of his youth to defending his boxing titles around the world. One of Canada's smallest fighters at 5'6", he weighed in at only 126 pounds. At the age of 14, though, he started training for and fighting in Steeltown's "Friday Night Smokers" and from there moved to Winnipeg to prepare for more prestigious competition. Callura won the national featherweight title in 1931 and was a member of the 1932 Olympic team in Los Angeles. He turned pro in 1936 and was known for his rock-like stance and enduring strength - both of which were a surprise given his size. In 1943, he claimed the world featherweight title by beating Jackie Wilson in 15 rounds. He successfully defended the title twice before losing to American Phil Terranova seven months later. In all, Callura fought 100 professional bouts, winning 57 fights (13 by knockout), losing 33 (six by knockout), and having ten draws. He retired after his 1943 defeat, became a steelworker in Buffalo, and eventually settled back in Hamilton with his wife.