Regular price $235.00

Bernard Earle Reynolds was a courageous man who excelled at many levels. Some noteworthy examples: Reynolds captained the 1941 Ludlowe football team. A rugged guy who played both offense and defense -- customary at the time -- and gave no quarter. He was an integral part of a defense that allowed just 13 points all season. Those Tigers won four games, tied three times and lost just once. The 1942 "Fairfieldiana" yearbook also tells us that Reynolds was voted "Best Looking" senior, which, I suppose, bears little weight in this thesis. With the country embroiled in World War II, Reynolds enlisted in the U.S. Army in March of 1943 and served three years. As a member of Gen. George Patton's Third Army, he won three battle stars for his service in the Battle of the Bulge, the defining engagement that assured Nazi Germany's defeat. In 1950, shortly after the outbreak of war in Korea, "something made me want to go back in" and he re-enlisted in the Army. At his peak in the late 1940s, Reynolds was regarded as one of the outstanding heavyweights -- a guy who won 50 of his first 55 fights and, in May 1949, was ranked ninth in the world by Ring magazine. Two all-time great champions, Ezzard Charles and Jersey Joe Walcott, were first and second, respectively, in that poll. Reynolds was a member of a Cliffside, N.J., fight stable managed by Joe Vella, whom he met in the Army. On June 28, 1948, Bernie Reynolds captured the New England championship by knocking out Nathan Mann in the fourth round of their bout at the New Haven Arena. A decade earlier, Mann -- born Natale Manchetti -- fought Joe Louis for the heavyweight title and was knocked out in the third round. Reynolds possessed the confidence and courage to challenge no fewer than three heavyweight champs during his fistic career, albeit with mixed results. He fought Louis, still the reigning champion, in a four-round exhibition in New Haven on Nov. 9, 1948. "Reynolds landed a couple of lefts to Louis' head, but he couldn't get out of the way of Joe's left," wrote the Bridgeport Post, which gave the champion a significant advantage in the fight. The magnanimous Louis said that Reynolds "had a lot of pep in his left hook." The Reynolds who faced Rocky Marciano and Charles five months apart in 1952 was considerably less sharp that the pre-Korea version. Against Marciano, judges awarded Bernie the first round on points -- the only round the undefeated champ lost in 20 straight fights in Providence, R.I. -- before Marciano prevailed with a third-round knockout. "He had amazing strength," Reynolds said of the champion who was killed in a 1969 plane crash. "Any time Marciano hit you, he could hurt you. He didn't do much flicking; every punch was a knockout punch." The fight with Charles in Cincinnati was over virtually before it started. The former champ knocked out Reynolds at 1:40 of the second round. Even with the lackluster ending, Reynolds concluded his career with 53 wins --33 by knockout -- 13 losses and one draw -- a record that earned him enshrinement, posthumously, in the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame in 2008. Offered here is an original colorized photograph of Bernie Reynolds as he looked at the height of his boxing career.
This is an original, colorized photograph of Reynolds in fight pose. Mounted on heavy stock archival photo board. Bold color and clear image. Not creased or torn. Clean front and back. Minor edge and corner wear with a small surface blemish at lower right corner. 16" x 20."

Size: 16 x 20

Condition: excellent