By Jim Amato

In the early 1960′s Cincinnati produced what looked to be a blue chip heavyweight prospect.. Billy Joiner turned professional in 1962 after a stellar amateur career, He won 86 of 92 fights in the amateur ranks winning the National AAU and Golden Gloves light heavyweight titles in 1962. He twice crossed gloves with none other then Cassius Clay.
After turning pro Billy won his first seven fights. Marion Conner,Amos Johnson and Lou Bailey were among the men he defeated. In 1964 he lost his first fight. A ten round decision to Amos Johnson for the Ohio Heavyweight title. He was then stopped by Hubert Hilton and outscored by Jimmy “The King” Fletcher. Joiner then fought three straight draws against Piero Tomasoni,Dante Cane and Chuck Leslie.
In 1968 Billy would go to Los Angeles to face the feared former heavyweight champion Sonny Liston. Sonny had embarked on a comeback and was slowly working his way back into the ratings. Joiner was halted in round seven. Ten months later Billy would meet Sonny again. This time in St.Louis. The game and crafty Joiner extended Sonny the full ten rounds in losing a decision.
In his next bout Billy would score a major upset outpointing Canadian Robert Cleroux eliminating Bob from a proposed title match with WBA champion Jimmy Ellis. The tide turned quickly though as Joiner would lose his next seven fights. It was against some stiff competition like Zora Folley,Alvin “Blue” Lewis,Juergen Blin,Mac Foster,Bernd August,Larry Holmes and Oscar Bonavena. He did gain some measure of revenge halting Fletcher in a rematch. A one round KO loss to Alfredo Evangalista followed that. Billy didn’t fight again for three and a half years but closed his career with a victory outscoring Young Louis in Detroit.
Joiner finished his career with a 12-13-3 record. It is a very decieving record. Along the way he met two world champions and three others that challenged for the crown. Add in legitimate contenders like Mac Foster and “Blue” Lewis and you can see Billy boxed with some of the best.

Jim Amato.

Filed under: Boxing


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