Leuzinger High School Class of 1981
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Leuzinger High School Class of 1981 - Message Board

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Golden Gloves Champion Clay Hodges - Class of 1959
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Terrence Poublon
04-27-2009 02:07pm
Two Time Golden Gloves Champion 1966 & 1967
Leuzinger Olympian Clay Hodges '59

Twice Bested Amateur Boxer George Foreman

Foreman is a big man with a big punch; He was one of the strongest heavyweights that ever entered the ring, if not the strongest; He was also perhaps the hardest hitter of all-time; He possessed a strong jab and uppercut; His greatest weakness was his lack of stamina and endurance - but, in most bouts, he flattened his man before tiring.

Foreman learned his way around the ring. He had a setback to rival Clay Hodges. Clay gave him a terrible time as an amateur. Clay Hodges out pointed the strong and aggressive nineteen year old, twice.

Clay was a two-time Heavyweight National Golden Gloves champion, from both 1966 and ’67. He was simply too skilled for the raw Foreman, who, despite hurting Hodges early in both fights, could not finish him off. George was devastated. Losing to the same man twice, in a space of less than three months, seriously dented his confidence.

Who would have guessed that later on in the year of 1968 George would come to world attention by winning Olympic gold in Mexico? Certainly not Clay Hodges. To this day, George says winning that medal was the proudest moment of his life. A pro career now loomed for the teenager, and the heavyweight championship of the world was his destiny. George’s final amateur record was 22-4.

But what of Hodges? He too tried his hand at professional boxing. Unfortunately, however, he was unable to match his amateur success while fighting for money. Clay turned pro in March of 1970 and won a few fights, most noticeably a points win over future title challenger Jimmy Young. But his career was short-lived and after a stoppage loss to one Kenyatta Hockenhull, later that same year, Hodges hung up his gloves.

The Clay Hodges-George Foreman saga was a perfect example of how differing sports amateur and pro boxing truly are. For while he bested him twice in the unpaid ranks, Clay was unable to follow the man he conquered to the incredible heights the now legendary Foreman scaled. Still, Hodges certainly proved that George, despite being hugely powerful, was also beatable if one possessed a good boxing brain. Something the next man to top Foreman certainly did.


Clay Hodges '59 - Hollywood Actor and Stuntman (Film Credits)
Quote in Reply
Terrence Poublon
04-27-2009 02:08pm
'Resurrection Blvd.' .... Official (1 episode, 2000)
  - Negro y Moreno (Black and Brown) (2000) TV episode .... Official

Rocky V (1990) .... Boxer

Dempsey (1983) (TV) .... Jess Willard

Goldie and the Boxer (1979) (TV) .... Joe's sparring partner

The China Syndrome (1979) .... SWAT Squad Leader

Every Which Way But Loose (1978) (uncredited) .... First Opponent

Movie Movie (1978) .... Sailor Lawson

Ring of Passion (1978) (TV)
... aka Countdown to the Big One

'The Wild Wild West' .... Boxer (1 episode, 1968)
  - The Night of the Vipers (1968) TV episode .... Boxer

Stunts:
The Last Flight of Noah's Ark (1980) (stunts)


Clay Hodges, Champion of Tolerance - Class of 1959
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Fred MacDonald
08-02-2013 09:36pm
  William Clay Hodges was a very good friend of mine at Leuzinger.  I met him in the marching band classes of Don Buck in 1955-56 as a freshman.  Clay played drums.  Clay was athletic, especially after he grew about 6 inches in the summer of 1958.   He ran cross-country for the Olympians.
  Clay had an affinity for boxing, and when Gordon Shaw of the California materials Company (on the corner of Rosecrans and Inglewood Avenue, directly behind my home on 142nd Street)  decided to find a young trainee for a new boxing facility he constructed at his company, Clay was convinced Shaw that he was The Man.
  As memorable as Clay is for his boxing, his movie acting, his later career as a college student and school teacher, and as my friend, to me he is most memorable as the high school buddy who by dictate and example taught me racial tolerance and human understanding in an era of remarkable stress.  
  There was not a racist bone in his body; and he stood against intolerance in the late 1950s when the nation was torn asunder by problems of integration and civil rights.  In that most-meaningful fight Clay was the unequaled heavyweight champion of the world.      
  In 1983 I dedicated my book, Blacks and White TV: African-Americans in Television since 1948, to Clay Hodges.  With that dedication I tried to pay honor to what he advocated, what he fought for.  He was the champ!


Re: Golden Gloves Champion Clay Hodges - Class of 1959
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Vince West
03-12-2014 08:52pm
I am a boxing fan and I saw Clay fight when I was very young....I now live in the Southbay/Redondo area and I am wondering if Clay around?  Would be great to meet him and talk......thoughts are appreciated.


Re: Golden Gloves Champion Clay Hodges - Class of 1959
Quote in Reply
Clay Hodges
09-10-2014 10:19pm
It's a complement that you recognize my name. You can give me a call 714-525-4284....we can talk.


Re: Golden Gloves Champion Clay Hodges - Class of 1959
Quote in Reply
dan ulmer
08-30-2015 12:54pm
I am a boxing fan and I saw Clay fight when I was very young....I now live in the Southbay/Redondo area and I am wondering if Clay around?  Would be great to meet him and talk......thoughts are appreciated.

He is in Estancia Del Sol ,Corona  right off Ontario street.  My daughter cares
for him in a rest home.  Her name is Diana ( goes by Tuttie)


Re: Golden Gloves Champion Clay Hodges - Class of 1959
Quote in Reply
Terry McDonald
10-15-2015 01:27am
I sill live in HAWTHORNE and am always proud to point out that a guy who used to train right there on the corner of Rosecrantz and Inglewood beat George Foreman twice.

I saw him fight in a tournament at the Olympic Auditorium, was there both nights, he won both. Years later a guy who cut my hair at a place on Rosecrantz, ( Fine Arts ) I was surprised to learn was his brother. I think his name was Rance.



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