| Wins against Kentucky - 0 | Losses against Kentucky - 5 |
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Date Born: December 7, 1907
Date Died: February 21, 1996
Overall Record: 101-75 [8 Seasons]
|12/2/1946||Fort Knox at Kentucky||W||68 - 31||-|
|12/1/1945||Fort Knox at Kentucky||W||59 - 34||-|
|12/2/1944||Fort Knox at Kentucky||W||56 - 23||-|
|12/1/1943||Fort Knox at Kentucky||W||51 - 18||-|
|1/4/1943||Fort Knox at Kentucky||W||64 - 30||-|
Obituary - Louisville Courier-Journal (February 23, 1996)
Bruner, Father of Boxing Careers, Dead at 88
Veteran Louisville boxing figure Edgar L. "Bud" Bruner, whose stable once included former heavyweight champion Jimmy Ellis and the late welterweight contender Rudell Stitch, died Wednesday at Clark Memorial Hospital in Jeffersonville. He was 88.
Generations of young Louisville boxers got their start at Bruner's gymnasiums. He guided Ellis from a young middleweight to top-10 ranking among heavyweights before they parted, and Ellis went on to win the World Boxing Association crown.
Bruner guided Stitch to No. 2 in the welterweight ranks before Stitch's tragic drowning in the Ohio River in 1960.
Ellis recalled Bruner fondly. "Bud played a big part early in my career," he said. "I liked him, and I fought a lot of top-rated fighters when I was with him, but eventually I had to move on.
"He did me justice, and we always stayed friends. I give him all the respect and credit in the world."
Bruner's career was marked by the Stitch tragedy. Bruner, Stitch - then 27 - and Charles L. Oliver, 25, were fishing on a cement shelf below a section of McAlpine Lock and Dam. Oliver fell off the shelf and pulled Stitch into the water with him.
Stitch had once saved a man from drowning in the Ohio, and this time he appeared to be heading for shore. But he turned back when he saw Oliver struggling, and both went under and drowned.
Distraught, Bruner considered leaving boxing, but he stayed with the sport to the end. In 1982, he briefly managed Stitch's son Darryl.
Bruner was a star athlete at Manual High School and in local baseball and basketball. He worked with the City Recreation Division, was a district supervisor for the Work Progress Administration, was athletic director at Fort Knox for eight years including most of World War II and was for many years the matchmaker for the Louisville Golden Gloves tourney.
Among the baseball players Bruner managed at Fort Knox were future major leaguers Stan Lopata, Joe Garagiola, Roy Sievers and Early Wynn.
Four times Bruner's basketball tams went up against Adolph Rupp's Kentucky Wildcats. Although they lost all four games, Bruner liked to joke that he "knew how to play Rupp" because UK didn't score more than 68 points in any of the games.
Among the young boxers for whom Bruner made matches was Cassius Clay, who later became heavyweight champion and changed his name to Muhammad Ali.
In those days, Bruner told David McGinty of the Louisville Times in 1978, "People were working from 7 to 5:30, six days a week. There was about five forms of entertainment. There was boxing and wrestling, horse racing, the theater and baseball.
"Football, basketball, nobody paid any attention to that. Nobody paid any attention to bowling.
"Tennis was sissy, and golf was a rich man's game."
In 1954 Bruner took over Dell Boxing Club Inc. He had gyms at several locations, including Shelby Street, Armory Place, Mark and 22nd Street.
The most recent on North 27th Street, is now known as the Portland Boxing Club and is owned by Val Blatz, a former fighter under Bruner.
Blatz said Bruner was confined to a wheelchair after a fall in 1985 but continued working with fighters until last summer.
"He'd tell the boxers what to do, and I'd be his legs for him," Blatz said. "We'd roll him into the gym, and he'd sit there and yell at the guys, telling them what they needed to do; he'd get his two cents in."
Survivors include a son, E.L. Bruner Jr.; a daughter, Nancy K. Vereen of Saddle River, N.J.; two sisters, Justina Acy and Ernestine Fry; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
The funeral will be at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Russman & Sons Funeral Home, 1041 Goss Ave., with burial in Resthaven Memorial Park.
Visitation will be at the funeral home from 1-5 and 7-9 p.m. today.
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