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Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, June 12, 2000


AP Photo/Michael Okoniewski
The living 2000 inductees of the International Boxing Hall of Fame,
from left, Jeff Chandler of Philadelphia, Carl "Bobo" Olson of Hawaii,
Tito Lectoure of Argentina and Ken Buchanan of Scotland, pose
with their new Hall of Fame rings at ceremonies
Sunday in Canastota, N.Y.

Hawaii’s Olson
inducted into
boxing’s hall

Final stages of Alzheimer's
disease doesn't stop 'Bobo' from
walking on stage to a rousing
standing ovation

By John Kekis
Associated Press


CANASTOTA, N.Y. -- Carl Olson's blank stare couldn't mask the pride he felt inside upon being inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame yesterday.

Although the man nicknamed "Bobo" is in the final stages of Alzheimer's disease, he still is able to bring a crowd to its feet just as he did during the 1950s, the height of his championship middleweight career.

"God's time is never too late," Judy Olson, his wife and sparring partner for 52 years and his main care giver now, said. "We made him aware. I just thank God he was able to walk up there today. But he's still here. He made it. I know when he put on that (Hall of Fame) ring that he recognized it."

The 72-year-old Olson, Hawaii's first boxer among the hall's 220 members, compiled a 98-16-2 record, with 48 knockouts, before retiring in 1966. In 1953, he won both the American and world middleweight titles. He fought Sugar Ray Robinson four times but never won. He did, however, record victories over Joey Maxim and Kid Gavilan, both Hall of Famers.

Olson, who was accompanied on stage by sons Carl and Grant, was announced to a standing ovation from an enthusiastic crowd of several hundred. Before he was given his ring, a commendation from Gov. Ben Cayetano was read aloud.

"It's been very overwhelming for him," said his daughter, Dawn, one of 23 family members in attendance. "My father's always been such a humble, gracious champion. It brought tears to his eyes. Last night, when we came back to his room, it was like he snapped out of it. It was like he didn't have Alzheimer's."

Olson was one of four boxers chosen in the modern category.

Also honored were bantamweight champion "Joltin' Jeff" Chandler from Philadelphia; Ken Buchanan, the first living Scottish boxer to make it into the Hall of Fame; and lightweight champion Jimmy Carter (81-30-8, with 31 knockouts).

Buchanan turned professional in 1965, and within three years had claimed both the Scottish and British lightweight titles. He finished his career in 1983 with a record of 62-8, with 28 knockouts. Dressed on this special day in typical highland style, kilt and all, he was noticeably moved by the honor.

Buchanan, 54, lost a controversial fight in 1972 to Roberto Duran when a low blow after the bell ending the 13th round prevented him from continuing.

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