In the late 1930’s prior to the Second World War, boxing enjoyed great popularity in Nova Scotia. One of the fighters that sports fans crammed tiny arenas to watch was the battling farm boy from Welsford, Earle Kinsman.
Earle started boxing in 1931 at the young age of 17 and in only eight years had compiled an impressive record. Unlike the modern era when boxers commonly only fight every several months, fighters in Earle’s time fought much more frequently and by the end of his career, Earle had fought in over seventy professional fights winning more than his fair share of these bouts, often in dramatic fashion. In 1939, at the still young age of 25, he had 14 victories with 13 coming by way of knockouts. Earle Kinsman was almost universally described as a fearless battler with great heart and a devastating right hand. Many of his fights ended early when a crashing blow from his lethal right sent his opponent to the canvas. He once knocked out an opponent in just 13 seconds which must be one of the fastest KO’s ever recorded.
Earle, at a scrappy 144 points, fought widely throughout Nova Scotia often against heavier fighters. His home bouts were staged in both Berwick and Kentville and were great crowd pleasers. Two contests are particularly memorable and have been well described in the press of the time. In December 1938, Earle fought to a 10 round draw against the then reigning Maritime welterweight champion, Bobby Orr, before a capacity crowd at the old Kentville Arena. Only a month later, Kinsman had another great ring battle with Johnny Nemis, the eastern Canada middleweight champion. Nemis had beaten Earle in an earlier fight on a TKO when Earle was forced to throw in the towel due to a fractured thumb and wrist. On January 2, 1939 in the champion’s hometown of New Waterford, Kinsman battled Nemis to a 10 round draw – a decision which many fans felt might have been awarded to Earle had the fight been at another site. Describing the fight, a local sportswriter described Earle as “a lanky young Nova Scotian who has all the earmarks of having enough brains and a wicked punch to some day be rated as a really great fighter”.
Shortly after this eventful bout, Earle joined the army at the outbreak of World War II. He was badly wounded while fighting in Belgium nearly losing his life. On returning to Canada, he established a dairy farm in his home community of Welsford where he continues to live assisting one of his sons in the operation of the farm. In 1984, Earle Kinsman was inducted into the Kings County Amateur Sports Hall of Fame.
It is with pride that Earle Kinsman is recognized into the Berwick Sports Hall of Fame.
Inducted June 1999
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