UW brings back boxing 54 years after student dies

A W crest emblem is seen on the Field House from inside of Camp Randall Stadium at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Oct. 6, 2012.
A W crest emblem is seen on the Field House from inside of Camp Randall Stadium at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Oct. 6, 2012. (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)
University of Wisconsin boxer Charles Mohr, the 1959 NCAA Middleweight Champion.
University of Wisconsin boxer Charles Mohr, the 1959 NCAA Middleweight Champion. (Image courtesy of the UW-Madison Archives)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The University of Wisconsin-Madison will allow club boxing 54 years after a student died from injuries suffered during a championship match.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Monday that UW sophomore Chandler Davis petitioned the school to bring back the sport after it was banned following boxer Charlie Mohr’s death on April 17, 1960.

The NCAA also banned boxing as an intercollegiate sport following Mohr’s death eight days after a punch to the head. UW’s boxing team had won eight championships over the previous 21 years before Mohr’s death.

Watch: The Legacy of Charlie Mohr and UW Boxing

Davis collected 200 signatures and gave presentations in his campaign to have boxing return as a club sport.

“Part of my presentation was a list of schools that have boxing,” Davis said. “Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, Southern Cal, UCLA . it’s a big club sport at a lot of schools. Some of the clubs even have their own gyms.”

Davis wasn’t the first to try and bring boxing back to campus. Longtime boxing trainer Bob Lynch tried to revive the sport about 30 years ago.

“I welcomed Chandler to give it a try but I told him the horror stories of Charlie Mohr dying Easter Sunday of 1960 and let him know that I had gotten it going once but they then said no live punching on campus,” Lynch said. “Several other people tried and always failed.”

Davis established a club at a Madison gym but said he thought the club needed to be on campus to get a bigger following. The club was approved Dec. 4 and will have its first practice Wednesday.

“We’re excited,” said Aaron Hobson, UW’s assistant director of competitive sports. “We’re here for the students and if there’s a need we want to support those students.”

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