Maltese Boxers Of Yesteryear (1930’s era)
Written by Alexander Zammit
Wednesday, 28 July 2010 23:10
Sam Xmun Chetcuti :
Maltese have always been fond of boxing, since its introduction to the Maltese Islands by the British services in the late 1800’s.
Malta has also produced some great boxers, many of whom have now faded in the annals of boxing history.
The first professional Maltese boxer has got to be, Sam Xmun Chetcuti born on the 28th of October 1906, in the village of Mosta (Malta). In 1926 Sam emigrated to Australia, it was the era of the great depression and for the first ten months Sam travelled from town to town picking up what work he could to survive.
It was in Melbourne that Sam got introduced to boxing and became friends with, Tiger Jack Payne an American boxer who was doing very well in the light heavyweight division, who helped him in his training. Sam was showing promise and in his first 12 fights, he had one draw and eleven wins.
Sam joined a traveling troupe of boxers, traveling from town to town, taking on challengers and fighting also for private promoters. Sam was a middle weight but would box even with heavyweights.
Of his best known fights, Sam knocked out, Charlie Jackson in the 14th round and Jim Millward in the 11th round. In 1933, he got points decisions over Jimmy Brunette and Don Heidke.
1937 - Chetcuti Vs Nevins
His greatest fight was in 1937 when he fought the ‘North Queensland’ heavyweight champion, Tommy Nevins and was disqualified half way through the contest, while he was ahead on points, on a controversial ruling of the referee who ruled that Sam had punched low.
Sam retired in Malta, became a publican and passed away on the 21st of May 1984.