PHILLY BOXING HISTORY                                                                           August 05, 2010


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James Arthur Washington, better known as Jimmy Arthur, died this morning at age 80. Jimmy was a legendary trainer who developed many fine boxers out of his home base turf of the Passyunk Gym.

We received this sad news this morning by way of phone call from venerable Philly cut man Joey Eye, who runs the Joey Eye Boxing Gym at 15th & Washington in South Phila-delphia, where Arthur's son Jimmy Washington, a former fighter, works as a trainer.

Of all the fighters that Jimmy Arthur worked with in his long career, he was probably best known for molding and steering the late great Tyrone Everett. Arthur started Everett in the sport and guided him through-out his memorable career.

But Everett was not his only charge. "Jimmy trained just about all the good fighters that came out of the Passyunk Gym back in those days," said Hall of Fame promoter J Russell Peltz.

Just a quick inventory of some of those names reads like a who's who of South Philly boxing. Fighters like his son, James Washington, Alfonso Hayman, Roger Russell, Frankie Mitchell, Kevin Howard, Tony Suero, Moses Robinson, Mike Rossman, Mike Rafferty and Tyrone's brother Eddie Everett come immediately to mind.

Most recently Arthur trained lightweight Victor Vasquez of North Philly at Mike Rafferty's Gym at 28th & Dickenson. However, when Arthur suffered a stroke about two years ago, he was forced into retirement. "I loved that old man, and learned so much from him", Vasquez said.

Arthur was born on July 30, 1930 in Kinston, North Carolina. He relocated later to Philadelphia, where he met Barbara Thorne. They married and eventually had seven children. He began a boxing career in the 1950s as a fighter, but traded in his gloves to become one of the city's most respected trainers. He also worked as a butcher for twenty years. During this time, he took in his nephew Roger Russell who found himself in need of family after his mother and sister were killed back in North Carolina. Arthur raised Russell as a son and introduced him to the sport of boxing. Roger went on to become a national amateur champion and a respected professional.

Arthur had important impact on the lives of the many young fighters he worked with. In addition to the numerous boxers he encountered that had the qualities needed to become well known professionals, there were countless anonymous young men who never made it in the ring. However, Arthur schooled both with equal effort, giving them not only lessons in boxing but important life lessons as well. He took his role in their lives seriously,  and although he was not the most well known of the many great Philly trainers, he was certainly one of the very best.

Arthur was residing in a nursing home located in Dresher, PA at the time of his death. ______________________________________________________________

Funeral Services for Jimmy Arthur will be held on Thursday, August 12, 2010 at the Second Nazareth Missionary Baptist Church located at 1800 S. 18th St. (18th & Tasker Sts.) in South Philly. The viewing begins at 10:00 AM, followed by the service at 11:00 AM.



Jimmy Arthur with Ray Evans at the Passyunk Gym

Arthur with a young boxer

Arthur in the corner with another boxer

Arthur with Mike Brown "Sugar"

James Washington - Jimmy Arthur's son.




John DiSanto - News & Notes - August 05, 2010