ALTHOUGH he fought in boxing’s lighter divisions, Billy Fry was one of Bendigo’s sporting heavyweights throughout the sixties.
Fry last night joined many of the region’s sporting stars of yesteryear and today by being inducted to the Hall of Fame at the Bendigo Advertiser-WIN Television Sports Star of the Year awards.
“I’d like to thank my late parents, my ex-trainers that have passed away and everyone who was behind me in my boxing career,’’ an honoured Fry said last night.
An outstanding record in boxing included 55 wins in 68 bouts.
Greatest highlight of his career was competing at the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica.
It was to be a bittersweet moment as an eye injury sustained in a quarter-final loss would lead to his early retirement as a competitor just a few years later.
“(To qualify for the Commonwealth Games) I had to win the Australian Championship. From there they picked a five-man squad,’’ Fry said.
“I happened to be one of those five. I was so pleased, it was out of this world.
“To get on a plane with all those Olympians.. it was terrific.”
Fry first competed in senior ranks as a 17-year-old in 1963. In that year he won the Victorian featherweight title and was runner-up at the Australian championships.
He achieved the same feat a year later.
In 1966, Fry was the Australian and Victorian lightweight titleholder and earned selection for the Commonwealth Games.
Fry became the second winner of what was then known as the Caltex Bendigo Advertiser-BCV 8 Sports Star of the Year in 1966-67.
The Victorian lightweight champion in ‘67, Fry was runner-up at the Australasian Championships in New Zealand.
A runner-up for a Golden Gloves title in 1968, Fry then decided to call time as a competitor.
The 36th inductee, Fry sits alongside two other boxing greats from his era, Brian Cahill and the late Des Duguid in the Sports Star Hall of Fame.