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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 9 (January 1, 1928)

N.Z. Railways to be represented at Olympia

page 16

N.Z. Railways to be represented at Olympia.

It will, no doubt, be interesting to the N.Z. railway staff to learn that young Alfred John Cleverley, who has been selected to represent New Zealand in the world's boxing championship at the Olympic Games this year, is an Apprentice-fitter at Petone Workshops.

His all-round athletic record is considered by competent judges to be one of the best ever held by a New Zealander.

At the age of 13 years he swam two miles in record time; the same year he won the junior provincial championship, was one of a team of four who won the junior life-saving shield, was runner-up in the junior tennis championships, received the medal for being the best all-round cricketer in the Wellington Boys' Institute Senior C. cricket team, was a member of the team which won the “Duthie” Cup Swimming Relay Race, and gained a markmanship badge for shooting.

Mr. A. J. Cleverley. (Photo. Craum Studios, wellington)

Mr. A. J. Cleverley.
(Photo. Craum Studios, wellington)

The following year he won the light-weight boxing championship of the Boys' Institute.

At the age of 17 years young Cleverley had fought in five different weights—light, welter, middle, light-heavy, and heavy-weight, and was never defeated. In 1926 he won the light-heavy-weight championship of the Army, and last year he won the heavy-weight championship of the Army and Navy.

This young railwayman has already gained the Royal Life-saving Society's award of merit. He played for the Railway Rugby team which won the “Myers” Cup, and he is now a senior cricket player for the Midland Club. In 1924 he won the “Winder” Cup for having the best all-round average for that club.

In 1926 Cleverley was a member of the (under 12st) Railway tug-of-war team which won the Wellington championship; at the age of 18 years he won the 1926 middle-weight boxing championship of New Zealand (being the youngest that has ever held that title); last year he won the light-heavy-weight boxing championship of New Zealand.

Appended is the list of boxers whom he has defeated:—Light-weight: Robinson, on points; Rathner, on points; Falloon, k.o. second round. Welter-weight: Ridgway (champion of the Navy), on points (Cleverley was then only 16 years of age, and 81b. lighter than Ridgway, who was a powerfully built man). Middle-weight: Gunnion (champion of Wellington), on points); Wills (champion of Taranaki), on points; Gordon (champion of Hawke's Bay), on points; Cotter (champion of Westport), on points; Pocock (champion of New Zealand), on points. Pocock won that title again last year, when Cleverley was competing in the light-heavy-weights. Light-heavy-weight: Love, technical k.o. first round; Evatt (champion of New Zealand), on points; Davis (champion of the Navy) on points; Schimanski (champion of Canterbury) on points; Hepburn (champion of Hawke's Bay), by default; Hogg (champion of Auckland), k.o. first round. Heavy-weight: Fitzsimmons (champion of Wellington), and has since defeated the 1925 and 1926 champion heavy weights of New Zealand on points; Tyree (1927 champion of Wellington), twice, on points; Marshall (champion of the Navy), on points. (Marshall was 23lb. heavier than Cleverley.) Cleverley has never suffered defeat in the boxing ring. Yet throughout his career he has never barred weight or age. As a middle-weight boxer he was also boxing in the light-heavy and heavyweight classes. The Railways may well be proud of the distinction in the athletic field already gained by this young boxer, whose showing at the world's championship events will be eagerly awaited.