1953 Carl "Bobo" Olson Boxing Gloves Worn in World Middleweight Championship-Winning Fight. Nicknamed "The Hawaiian Swede" for the mixed ethnicity of his parents, and "Bobo" for his sister's childhood mispronunciation of "Brother," Carl Olson learned his trade as a teenager from boxers stationed in Hawaii during the Second World War. Like the silver screen's "Rocky," Olson was more gifted with power and unbreakable will than with great pugilistic skill, but his grit made him a fan favorite and gained him three meetings with the greatest middleweight of all time, Sugar Ray Robinson. Though Olson failed to defeat Robinson in any of these bouts, his solid reputation as a contender earned him a spot in the four-man competition to assume Robinson's vacated title when Ray retired for the first time in December 1952. Olson defeated Paddy Young for the American title, earning a meeting with Randy Turpin on October 21, 1953 at Madison Square Garden to crown the new Champ.

    This bout too would prove to be a testament to Olson's heart and recuperative powers, as he was dominated by Turpin throughout the first four rounds and almost knocked to the canvas in the bout's opening minutes. But the tide changed in the middle rounds and Olson would score knockdowns in the tenth and eleventh en route to a unanimous decision. The performance earned Olson the Ring Magazine award for "Fighter of the Year."

    Consigned by the Olson family along with Bobo's title belt in the following lot, this pair of leather gloves is the set worn that glorious night in the Big Apple. The "Ben Lee" brand gloves exhibit solid wear from their hour on boxing's biggest stage, with the cloth interior of the left wrist notated in vintage ink "10/21/53 BO." The right glove is similarly notated but only the "BO" remains visible. The most significant fight worn gear available from this 2000 International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee. Letter of provenance from Olson's widow.

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    Auction Dates
    November, 2011
    10th-11th Thursday-Friday
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