Boxing and the Fitzgerald Boys

Boxing was a part of Fitzgerald boy’s lives

In book . . .

John D. Fitzgerald welcomes us into his Great Brain world stating, “Mormons and non-Mormons had learned to live together with some degree of tolerance and understanding.” For the adults maybe. For kids though?

J.D. had sound answer, “Sweyn, my brother Tom, and myself . . . taught them (Mormon kids) tolerance. It was just a question of learning how to fight good enough for Sweyn to whip every Mormon kid his age, Tom to whip every Mormon kid his age, and for me to whip every Mormon kid my age in town. After all, there is nothing as tolerant and understanding as a kid you can whip.”


In Life . . .

In the late 1920’s sports became big in John’s hometown. Baseball, softball, wrestling and boxing took center stage. Tennis and swimming would come along later.

One spring, The Rotary Kiwanis Club┬á of Carbon County invited 60 boys and dads to an amateur boxing competition. Before any punches were thrown the Rotary Kiwanis Club gave a presentation on “trying to get boys to stay in school and get better prepared to meet life’s problems later.”

“On roll call, each boy arose, gave his name and age and state what he intended to this fall. Every one of them promised to be in high school.”


Following the pledging, the pugilistic’s began.

The Sun Advocate recorded, “John Fitzgerald went up against Pesky, but Pesky was too fast and long winded and Fits decided that he had business elsewhere so Jim Hanson took his place.” – Shh. We won’t ever tell John he got whipped.

Boxing though did bite one Fitzgerald. John’s beloved brother Tom. Not much of Tom’s story exists in print. Somehow he escaped notice in the local paper. His obituary however is another matter. The third paragraph reads, “Graduated from Carbon High School in 1922. Active in all high school sports. Excelled as a boxer and swimmer.”

No wonder he wasn’t at the Rotary Kiwanis event. A young man who excelled at boxing likely could whip any kid his age. No matter what religion they were.


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