Last year in a conversation with Don Fraser, President of the California Boxing Hall of Fame, I mentioned to him, “Why isn’t Ray White in your select group of inductees?” Don’s reply was simple, “I have thought of that, but I have no idea how to reach him.” My reply to that was simple, “Don, because of my involvement with USA Amateur Boxing, I see and talk with Ray at various southern California shows and I will gladly take care of this for you.”
So late last year at a boxing show, I made that connection for Mr. Fraser, and now the rest of the story will take place later this month when Ray White will officially be inducted into the California Boxing Hall of Fame.
My memories of Ray White are fun ones, as I watched him box several times at Southland venues. He was a colorful light heavyweight in the 60′s and early 70′s.
A carpenter by trade, White took up boxing in 1958. His flamboyant clowning style included his unique “rooster” with others being the behind the back punch and the back hand bolo punch. Those antics gave him the nickname of “Windmill.” He was also referred to as the “Clown Prince of Boxing.”
White was the California State light heavyweight champion in the earlier seventies and fought all the boxers of his day. During that time there was even talk about a possible bout with light heavyweight champion Bob Foster, but that never materialized. When I asked who his toughest foe was, he was quick to comment, “That would be Jimmy Dupree,” in a fight in which White was knocked down in the 4th round and lost a close, unanimous 12-round decision on July 3, 1971. He retired from professional boxing exactly 37 years ago – June 1974 – with a ring record of 41 wins, 14 losses, and 5 draws.
Today, White lives the quiet life in Oak View, in Ventura County, California and offers his expertise in boxing by training youth amateur boxers. In my several recent meetings with him, one cannot help to notice how fit, physically and mentally, he is at the age of 72 years old.
My only regret is that when Ray gets inducted into the California Boxing Hall of Fame on Saturday, June 25, 2011, I won’t be able to attend because on that same day is the celebration of my retirement after 40 years with the State of California / Caltrans and ironically also my birthday party, so I will miss this wonderful man receiving his well-deserved honor in boxing.
For ticket information regarding the California Boxing Hall of Fame event, please contact Don Fraser (818) 761-4887.