The public is invited to a program at the Niagara History Center at 2 p.m. Oct. 26 to learn about Lockport’s early 20th century boxing great Jimmy Duffy.
David “Bo” Bolicki, a native of Gasport and a Duffy enthusiast, has been a boxing collector for over 30 years and has a collection of the boxer’s memorabilia. Bolicki will bring posters, artifacts and statistics of Duffy’s career for the audience to see before and after he speaks. The program also will feature an exhibit of items from the History Center’s collection.
A press release stated, “Born in 1889, Jimmy Duffy was Lockport’s first sports celebrity. As a teenager, he spent time at the North End Club playing baseball and training to be a boxer. His first boxing match took place when he was 17 years old at the Crowe Building on Lock Street.
“Beginning in 1908, Duffy embarked on his 13-year career as a boxer. He fought eight matches in Lockport, but most of his fights took place in Buffalo or other cities around the country. Thousands of people would pack these venues to see a local boy knock the stuffing out of his opponents. Out of 169 bouts he fought, Duffy only lost 21. Locally he was known as the ‘Duke of Lockport’ and was welcomed by cheering crowds whenever he returned to the city.
“Duffy did a stint in the U.S. Army during World War I, and continued to box until 1921. He embarked on a new profession in 1922 when he was appointed a sheriff’s deputy in Niagara County. He served in that capacity until 1949 when a fall in the courthouse forced him to retire.”
The Niagara History Center is located at 215 Niagara St., Lockport.