Hall of Famer
Inducted in 1990
Canadian Heavyweight Champion
Named to the Order of Canada
Awarded star on Canada's Walk of Fame
He gave as good as he got, and then some. George Chuvalo was an extraordinary fighter and competitor - inside and outside of the boxing ring. Chuvalo was born in Toronto in 1937 and became Canadian amateur heavyweight champion in 1956 at age 19. He retired from boxing in 1979, but during his 21-year career he fought some of the best boxers in the world including Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Floyd Patterson, Ernie Terrell, Joe Frazier, and Jerry Quarry. In total, Chuvalo fought 97 times, recording 68 wins by knockout, nine by decision, two draws, one disqualification and two TKO's. Known as a brutal puncher as well as one who could withstand tremendous punishment, Chuvalo was never knocked off his feet. He had two memorable fights against Muhammad Ali: The first bout in 1966 lasted fifteen rounds. The decision went to Ali but the respect of everyone who saw or heard the fight went to Chuvalo. The second bout was in 1972 and went twelve rounds with, again, the decision going to Ali. These fights (along with Ali's fight with Chuck Wepner), provided inspiration for Sylvester Stallone's Rocky. Chuvalo was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1990. He faced the best boxers of his time and ranked in the top ten in the world longer than any other heavyweight. His performance in the ring, however, is only part of the general esteem Canadians have for this extraordinary man. As he refused to be knocked out in a fight, so he persists in standing up in life against personal devastation: He lost one son and his wife to suicide and two sons to drug overdose. Choosing life over losing, Chuvalo currently gives lectures against drug use and actively promotes his own charity, Fight Against Drugs. In 2006, an Honourary WBC Heavyweight Championship belt was presented to him in continued recognition of his fighting spirit and unwavering dedication to the prevention of drug abuse. He was appointed Member, Order of Canada in 1998 and awarded a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in 2005. Chuvalo currently lives with his second wife in Toronto and his son, Mitch, is a successful teacher and coach currently working at the University of Toronto Schools.