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Eugene "Battling Terry" Peluso

Boxing ∙ New Brighton

 

 

 

 

Throughout the early part of the 20th century, one of the most popular pastimes in our area was boxing. Just about every community had a boxing club, and it was a way for kids not only to learn the intricacies of the sweet science, but to a select few, grow and prosper in the squared circle.

One such young man who achieved great success charming fight aficionados in its heyday was Eugene "Battling Terry" Peluso of New Brighton. Although he never won a championship belt, Battling Terry had an exemplary career and was known throughout the East and Midwest. He fought mainly as a 135 pounder.

Born January 1st, 1890 in Cosenza, Italy, Terry, his mother and two brothers came to the United States to join their husband and father, Salvatore, in New Brighton, near the turn of the century. He soon learned the manly art of self-defense at Barney Lindsay’s Hall in New Brighton. And he learned it quite well. His official ring career spanned the years 1906 through 1915.

In that time frame, Terry fought 250 fights, winning 175 (75 by knockout). He had 60 no decisions, which was a common occurrence in those times, with just 15 losses. He fought just about every featherweight and lightweight of consequence throughout his time in the ring, and was the feature bout on most of the cards.

Terry could box any style. He was known as a combination boxer, slugger and terrific puncher. Along with his fierce desire and competitiveness, he was very aggressive.

Terry began to make noise early in his career. In 1908, he fought highly acclaimed Johnny Kilbane in a ten round no-decision bout. Kilbane later went on to own the featherweight crown for over 11 years. One year later, Battling Terry had another no-decision contest against Billy Allan, who was the Canadian lightweight champion.

Terry also served as the headliner in four 20 round fights in his career. He was a big hit in Ohio, having a huge following in Cleveland and Dayton.

Terry was married to Mary and they had two girls, Lillian and Jeannette, and a son, Eugene Jr. At the time of his death, on December 6, 1973, Terry had 12 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

His great career in the ring was immortalized in 1974, when the popular Eugene "Battling Terry" Peluso was inducted into the Beaver County Area Boxing Hall of Fame. 
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