A MULTIPLE state champion throughout his boxing career, Len Ermel is highly-regarded as one of Bendigo’s finest in any sport.
Ermel passed away in Geelong in early April after a short illness.
He was 80.
Len was the eldest of seven children. He had great support from Brian, June, Ronald (aka Joe), Robert, Max and Denise throughout his boxing career.
It was in the late 1940s and early 50s that Len Ermel made his mark across various weight divisions.
He was beaten just five times in an amateur career of 43 bouts.
Len Ermel took up boxing at Bendigo YMCA in Mundy Street when he was 11.
He was first trained by Leo Forrest.
Three years later and Ermel crossed to the George Brown-trained group based at Bendigo Rowing Club.
Three of Victoria’s best in the 50s – Ermel, Des Duguid and Brian Cahill - were all from Bendigo.
A runner-up for the a Victorian junior title in 1947, Ermel won at state level the next three years.
He was the Victorian senior lightweight champion in 1951, the Victorian Champion of Champions and runner-up for the Australian welterweight title in 1952.
Ermel joined the professional ranks in early 1953 which put him out of contention for Olympic or Commonwealth Games selection.
His record as a professional boxer was eight wins, four defeats and one draw.
A former secretary of the Victorian Amateur Boxing Association, John Hare declared Len Ermel was a renowned big-time boxer.
Ermel is survived by his wife of 52 years, Jean, and children Robyn and Andrew.