Inducted on November 5, 1978
Bucky Keyes came from Jersey City, New Jersey. He started boxing in the amateur ranks at the early age of 14 in the year 1927. Some of his opponents included Allie Todisco, William Oliver, Andy Crispano, and Alex Koskowitz. Bucky later became known as the “King of Bootleg Bouts,” fighting in Monticello, Newburgh, Middletown, and Goshen, all in the upstate New York area. In these Bootleg Bouts, the fighters weights were not considered and the bouts were usually no holds barred affairs held in secret clubs away from the watchful eyes of Ring Officials and the Police. The purses were small and the fighters fought for sheer enjoyment. Bucky says “we never knew who we were fighting until we stepped into the ring. I weighed 130 Ibs. but some’ nights I was in against a heavyweight.”
A list of men Bucky fought reads like a “Who’s Who of Boxing” – men like Red Cochrane, Pete Nebo, Lew Feldman, Al Singer, Eddie Brink, Charlie Gomer, Tommy Dell, Allie Todisco, Bobby Larkin, Joey Greb, Johnny Rinaldi, Wes Ramey, and Lou Lombardi.
His career ‘spanned from 1927 to 1938 and included 87 pro .. bouts. Bucky became known as the “Mayor of Chinatown” after the noted Johnny Keyes – no relation. Bucky helped organize Ring 14, served as it president for 3 terms, and is a member of the W.B.H.A. He is associated with the ILA Longshoreman’s Union and wasa Shop Steward in Local 1247 for over 25 years. He resides in Jersey City, New Jersey, and we are honored indeed to have him with us tonight.
Boxing Record – Bucky Keyes