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Boxing icon Bertram Legall dies

By WALTER ALIBEY Sunday, May 6 2012

click on pic to zoom in
Ralph Peterkin (left) shows a boxing move to his ex-trainer Bertram Legall (In suit) while other ex boxers and boxing officials look on. ...
Ralph Peterkin (left) shows a boxing move to his ex-trainer Bertram Legall (In suit) while other ex boxers and boxing officials look on. ...

THE Boxing fraternity was plunged into mourning following the untimely passing of ex-boxer and trainer Bertram Legall.

Legall died at the Port-of- Spain General Hospital from pneumonia on Wednesday last. He was 82 years old. The father of three boys and four girls was yesterday described as the greatest boxer and boxing trainer that the country has ever produced.

Newsday understands that the Trinidad and Tobago Boxing Board (TTBB) which is being led by Annabelle Davis is planning to honour Legall. Davis did not say what plans were being made but explained that it will be something really good.

Arrangements for his funeral are still being made as a number of family members from abroad are expected. Legall’s common-law wife Marjorie Reefer said Legall had been ailing for a while now.

“He used to suffer with his nerves and he had developed alzheimers. On Wednesday of last week he was taken to the hospital because he was having problems breathing but he never came back home.”

Ex-National boxer, now turn coach Ralph Peterkin said “As a boxer Legall stands alone as being the only fighter who has never lost a fight in Trinidad and Tobago. I could only remember him being beaten once in his career and that was in Helsinki, Finland” Peterkin who was one of Legall’s protégé said.

According to Peterkin “As a trainer Legall has produced some of the country’s best boxers such as Michael Paul, Michael Drayton, Willie Pegus, Dimitri Stroude, Willie Williams and brothers Selwyn and Rufus Figaro among many others.

He pointed out that Legall’s ability in training young boxers will be surely missed. In lamenting the times of the boxing icon Peterkin said “I remembered when I started training under Legall and he had me running for days in the gym and one day I asked him if he had forgotten that I came in the gym to box. Well he got annoyed and showed me the door and said I could leave.”

Peterkin explained that Legall showed him the door because he was not one to send boxers into the ring before they were ready.

“This is what the sport is badly missing right now. Today we have coaches and trainers who send boxers into the ring although they are not ready to fight” Peterkin said.

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