Best of the Canadian Flyweights
by Dave Baggs / FightNews Canada
2011-10-14

Who was the last Flyweight champion of Canada? Remember? Don't worry if you had to look it up, I did. The last man to wear the national title as the country's top flyweight was Trenton, Nova Scotia's Alex Martin who stopped Saint John, New Brunswick's Dick Peterson in 11 rounds back in 1965. While Canada doesn't produce many 112lb big men these days, there have been a few in the past who have captured both national and international attention. While the name Scotty Olson may be rattling around in your head, there have been others who's accomplishments include national and world honours. FightNews Canada has compiled a list of what we deem as the best 5 Flyweights the nation has ever produced.

#5.
CLOVIS DURAND

Career: 1923-1929
Record: 14-18-2, 5 knockouts
Titles:
Canadian Flyweight title 1929

Why is he ranked here?
Fought the best the country had to offer during his 6 year pro career. Won 8 of 11 bouts to start his career including a decision victory over former world title challenger Frankie Ash of the UK. Defeated Willie Woods over 10 rounds to win the Canadian Flyweight title in 1924. Biggest win of his career came 1 month later when he stopped Corporal Izzy Schwartz (a future NYSAC Flyweight champion) in 7 rounds in Montreal. From 1925 to 1927, won only 1 out of 11 bouts. Despite a modest 3 fight winning streak in 1928, lost the title to Frenchy Belanger on points in Toronto. Earned a draw against Harry Goldstein in the final bout of their triolgy. Last year of his pro career was spent at Bantamweight and dropped consecutive bouts to Frank Young Lebrun to end his career.

#4.
ALEX BURLIE

Career: 1922-1928
Record: 22-10-6, 4 knockouts
titles:
none

Why is he ranked here?
Defeated many Flyweight contenders during his brief 6 year pro career. Defeated Willie Davies over 8 round in 1924. Handed Frenchy Belanger his first pro defeat in 1925. Handidly defeated Corporal Izzy Schwartz who would go on to win the NYSAC Flyweight title 1 year later. Dropped a controversial decision to Newsboy Brown in 1927 Posted only 2 more wins in his final 6 bouts to conclude his pro career. Suffered only KO loss to Norway's Pete Sanstol in second to last bout.

#3.
STEVE ROCCO

Career: 1928-1933
Record: 23-5-1, 4 knockouts
Titles:
Canadian Flyweight title 1928

Why is he ranked here?
Defeated Frenchy Belanger for the title in only his 8th pro bout in what was called the "one of the greatest bouts, any weight, ever seen in a Toronto ring...." by the Toronto Globe back in 1928. Fought to a 10 round statemate with Frankie Genero in a bid to capture the NBA Flyweigh title. Lost the rematch to Genero 4 months later when disqualified in the 2nd round. Gave the Canadian title back to Belanger in 1929, losing a 10 round decision in Toronto. Defeated world contender in Harry Goldstein (W6), Marty Gold (W10, W10, W6), and Joey Eulo (W8). Never stopped as a pro.

#2.
SCOTTY OLSON

Career: 1990-2002
Record: 34-4-2, 25 knockouts
Titles:
USBA Flyweight champion 1992
IBO Flyweight champion 1994-1998

Why is he ranked here?
The Bulldog was as tough as they come. Tenacious. Hard hitting. Big heart. Brittle hands. Started his pro career off with 23 straight victories, 18 of them ending early. In line for a big money fight with Michael Carbajal when he dropped a 12 round majority decision to Mexican Jose Luis Zepeda in a fight where Olson broke his hand early in the fight. Won next 5 bouts (4 by KO) and was again on the verge of meeting Carbajal when his big fight asperations were derailed when journeyman Jorge Luis Roman defeated Olson by split decision. Rebounded to capture the IBO title in his next fight, defending it 4 times including a decision victory over his original conqueror Jorge Luis Roman. Finally landed a bout with Carbajal in 1997 but was stopped in 10 rounds in a bid for the IBA light flyweight title. Defended his IBO title twice more before retiring. Came back 3 years later but was a shell of his former self. Was stopped by Steve Molitor in second comeback bout and retire for good in 2002.

#1.
ALBERT "FRENCHY" BELANGER

Career: 1924-1932
Record: 42-20-10, 15 knockouts
Titles:
Canadain Flyweight champion, 1928,1929, 1929-1932
NBA World Flyweight champion 1928

Why is he ranked here?
Albert "Frenchy" Belanger was a 3 time Canadian Flyweight champion over the course of this career. In addition, the Toronto Flyweight wore the NBA (National Boxing Association) Flyweight crown when he decisioned England's Ernie Jarvis over 12 rounds in 1927. Belanger battled the great Frankie Genaro 4 times, winning 1 and dropping 3 close decisions including the NBA title in 1928. Among his 42 victories includes Harry Goldstein (ranked #11 in the world), Newsboy Brown (a former world champion) as well as 3 onetime Canadian champions in Steve Rocco, Clovis Durand, and Harry Hill. In over 70 professional fights, Belanger was only stopped twice in his career, one of which occurred in his last pro bout.