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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

HORACE 'LEFTY' GWYNNE

Inducted in 1955

Member Details

Date of Birth: October 5, 1912
Place of Birth: Toronto, Ontario
Date of Passing: April 16, 2001
Sport: Boxing
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1932

Los Angeles Olympic Games - Gold medal

1938-39

Canadian Pro Bantamweight titles

Honoured Member HORACE 'LEFTY' GWYNNE
Inspire

Story

Canada has had few boxing heroes to rival Horace 'Lefty' Gwynne. With his speedy, powerful punching style, Gwynne carved out a brilliant competitive career during the 1930s which culminated in an Olympic gold medal. Gwynne began to develop his boxing skills at the tender age of five, occasionally engaging in sparring matches with an older brother. As a teenager, he blossomed into a formidable fighter on the Ontario, Canadian, and International boxing circuits. The pinnacle of his career came at the 1932 Olympics. In Los Angeles, he fashioned wins over Italian champion Vito Melis, Jose Villaneuva of the Philippines, and in the final gold medal fight, Gwynne easily outpointed European champion Hans Ziglarski. According to Toronto Star sportswriter Lou Marsh, he "had the German boy completely at sea and looking for a lifebuoy when the final gong rang." Gwynne's prize was one of only two gold medals claimed by Canadians at the Games that year. Shortly after his Olympic victory, Lefty turned professional. He won the Canadian professional bantamweight title in 1938 and retired undefeated in 1939. A jockey in his youth, Gwynne returned to the racetrack as a jockey's agent until 1953. He later worked as director of various community centres, and retired from the position of City of Toronto Recreation Supervisor in 1973. Gwynne's punching prowess has inspired many Canadian boxers, and his tremendous achievements have earned him an honoured place in the Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame.


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