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
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
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
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.