News The Sweet Science

The Death of My Brother, A Boxing Icon – By Paul Doiron

jerry-jr

jerry-and-art-hafeyjerrydoironjr1970sMy brother Jerry, or “Junior” as he was known by those close to him, passed away on Thursday December 12th after having been ill for sometime. Born on November 25th 1945, he’d go on to leave his mark in the sport of boxing. One of 8 brothers who’d all go on to take up the Sport of Champions, Junior would take up the sport as a 7 year old, being trained by our late father, Jerry Sr. Junior and brother Richard would become part of Canadian boxing history when they’d box each other as a special feature as part of the undercard on several boxing cards featuring the Fighting Fisherman, Yvon Durelle and they’d both earn standing ovations for their spirited efforts. From there, “Junior” would go on to fight about 80 times in the amateur ranks, winning 70 of those bouts. He’d win the Ontario Golden Gloves in the Middleweight division in 1976. In 1965-66, he’d by Runner-up in the New York State Golden Gloves and fight at Expo 67 in 1967. He’d then go on to run a boxing club in the city of Kitchener Ontario for a number of years, coaching some of that province’s best upcoming young boxers as well as doing his part in leading countless youngsters on the right path in life. After returning to Moncton in the late 1970’s, Jerry would go on to manage several Pro boxers in the early stages of their careers. One of those boxers, Jeff Day, would relocate to Moncton after having fought for Jerry as an amateur in Kitchener and fight for Jerry in the Pro ranks. 

jerry-and-rchard-doiron-1953In 1988, Jerry would be appointed as the Commissioner of the Moncton Boxing and Wrestling Commission. Then in 1989, he’d be elected as the chairman of that Commission and he’d serve in that position until 2010. In 1990, Jerry would be elected Vice President of the Canadian Professional Boxing Federation. (He’d be re-elected as V.P. in 1991 as well). In 1995, Jerry would be elected President of the C.P.B.F, a position he’d be re-elected to in both 1996 and 2004. He’d be a member of the Association of Boxing Commissions for 15 years as well. 

He’d be inducted into the Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Moncton Sports Wall of Fame in 1989. He’d also design the first C.P.B.F championship belt in 1995. He would go on to be the founder of the National Boxing Authority. Known as a tough guy inside the ring, Junior would be anything but outside of it. Known for his love of fishing, he and his wife Carol could often be found knee deep in a river, fishing rod in hand, waiting to land that big one. Several long-time friends, upon hearing of Jerry’s passing, had the following to say about the man. Halifax’s Hubert Earle, one of the top five boxing referees in the world first met Jerry in 1982 while working a fight card in Moncton. The two would go on to remain close friends and Earle would visit Jerry the day before his passing at the hospital in Moncton. “Jerry had a side of him that a lot of people didn’t know. He loved fishing, loved being outside and loved feeding animals. He was a person who was true to his word and he was always ready to praise others. I loved the man and he’ll always be a part of my life. Those who are close to me never die” stated Earle. This past weekend on the phone with Earle, it was easy to detect the cracking in his voice as he fondly shared memories of his friendship with Jerry.

jeery-doiron-sr-jerry-and-brother-richardRetired Kitchener Ontario fireman Len Solomon first met Junior in the early 1960’s while the Doiron family were living in that Ontario city. Solomon, a well-known boxing writer would spend a number of years researching the rich history of Canadian boxing with Jerry. Called “Bareknuckles to Leather” the work would cover the years from 1849 to 2000. “Jerry knew so much about boxing history. It was amazing”. There was nothing that Jerry did not know about the sport of boxing stated Solomon. Denis Leger, the Executive Director of the New Brunswick Combat Sports Commission remembered Jerry as a mover and a shaker, a man who liked to get thing’s done. “He knew the boxing business from both sides. His knowledge of boxing was amazing”. (Leger was a former promoter as well as being the co-manager of the world class former Canadian champion Jacques Leblanc when he first met Jerry in the early 1980’s). I remember as a kid having two idols. One was my late father Jerry Sr., while the other was my bigger, older brother Junior. He always seemed like a tough guy and without a doubt he was. He’d never back down from anyone. But he was much more that just that. To see him around children was something else. He loved kids. Several days before his passing, I brought my granddaughter Kayla and great granddaughter Lily to visit him as he lay in his hospital bed. He was so excited to see them. Junior passed away a couple of days later. 

Jerry was born on November 25th 1945 to Imelda (Arsenault) and Jeremie Doiron Sr. (He was pre-deceased by his mother in 2001 and his father in 2008, three infant siblings, Jeremie, Georges and Rita also pre-deceased him). He is survived by his wife of 31 years Carol, Stepsons Andrew and Stephen (Angi) Sherman as well as a granddaughter Mackenzie, his mother in-law Margaret Mercer of Bay Roberts N.F. and brother in-laws Larry and Terry Mercer. He leaves behind two god-daughters, sister Rita and niece Stephanie Doiron. He leaves behind 7 brothers, Richard, Ray, George, Ron, Paul, Danny, Roger and only sister Rita, as well as many nieces and nephews and countless lifelong friends. 

In honour of Jerry, a Celebration of his Life took place on Saturday December 21st at the Fists Boxing Club in Moncton.

R.I.P. Jerry.

fitz-vanderpool-vs-roberto-mclellan

jerry-jr

jerry-with-carol-spouse

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *