Welterweight – 1945-48
Allen Faulkner opened his boxing career as a highly successful amateur fighter. In December of 1944 he won the local Golden Glove championship at the 147-pound class. Other members of that talented group of fighters that won titles that night were Vic Eisen, Sam Butera and John Sudac. Faulkner’s quest for a national title came to an end when he was decisioned by Seaman 1/C Mike Koballo in the semifinal round of the Eastern Golden Gloves Championships in New York City. Koballo, a coal miner before entering the navy was from Allison, Pennsylvania.
In early 1945 Faulkner won the U. S. Men’s Amateur title at the 160 pound weight level.
Buffalo’s newest welterweight sensation began his pro career in Buffalo with a second round knockout over Eddie McGee on June 5, 1945. He fought quite consistently for the remainder of the year, winning a total of 11 fights, seven by knockouts. Following his knockout of Vic Belanger on August 17th, Charlie Bailey said that Faulkner was “razor sharp.” He was forced to take a month off between his September 25th fight against Jackie Gaines and his fight against Sparky Reynolds on October 24th due to torn rib cartilage in the Gaines fight.
Allen Faulkner opened up the year 1946 losing two of his first three contests, losing a six-round decision to Arthur Hardy and suffering a first-round knockout at the hands of Sam Baroudi. He then ran off 11 consecutive victories, improving his record to 23-2.
Faulkner began the year 1947 with two victories in Rochester. He then shifted his operations to California, where he would fight in Ocean Park, San Diego and Oakland. He remained in California for the complete year going 10-2. In April Faulkner was knocked-out by Melvin Johnson in the fifth round. In early May, he gained revenge with a sixth round knockout of Johnson. In late September, he suffered the final loss of his career, a ten-round decision to a more experienced George Costner. All of his 1947 fights were scheduled 10 rounders, most of them main events.
Bob Stedler said that he looked, “Bigger and stronger than ever,” when Allen Faulkner returned to Buffalo in early January of 1948, Frank Wakefield said that he looked, “greatly improved.” He was hoping to fight a few times in Buffalo before returning to the West Coast. Possible opponents would be Henry Brimm, Herbie Kronowitz, Harold Green or Pete Mead, a recent conqueror of Joey DeJohn.
According to Faulkner younger sister Lois, these were great days for Buffalo fighters and their families. As a teenager she remembers making daily visits to Singer’s Gym. She vividly recalls watching her favorites train; her cousin Bobby McQuillen, Henry Brimm, Johnny Green, Tommy Maddox, Tommy Stenhouse, Vic Eissen, Henry Flakes and Prentice Hall.
Lois also remembers that when her brother was not fighting or working for the NEHI Beverage Company, he might be found playing chess or pool.
Faulkner opened 1948 with a tenth round knockout of Bill Poli. As Frank Wakefield said it was “one terrific right to the jaw,” that knocked Poli unconscious. Poli’s first comments after regaining consciousness was, “What happened, what did he hit me with?” The 21-year old Faulkner knocked Eddie O’Neil down once on the way to a ten-round decision. In his third consecutive main event at Memorial Auditorium, Faulkner would finally be the underdog. His opponent would be 10th ranked middleweight O’Neill Bell of Detroit. Bell had recently defeated Teddy Yarocz, Cecil Hudson, Tommy Bell, Vinnie Rossano and Jackie Wilson. Faulkner fought one of the best fights of his career as he won a split decision over Bell. By late April, he had jumped to ninth in Jack Dempsey’s rating of middleweight fighters. He next fought on the undercard of the Lee Savold-Buddy Walker contest on May 4, 1948. In a major upset George Henry held him to ten-round draw in what would be Allen Faulkner’s last fight in Buffalo.
Allen Faulkner then moved on to Toledo, where he won a ten-round decision over Roy Miller in the final fight of his career. Unable to get any more quality fights in Buffalo, he returned to the West Coach. Again failing in his quest for fights, Faulkner returned to Buffalo. He went into some very intense training in the late fall of 1948 and early winter of 1949. Faulkner finally had a good fight scheduled, this time against Syracuse light heavyweight, Nick Barone. Unfortunately one of the Syracuse Boxing Commission doctors discovered that Allen was suffering from cataracts on both his eyes. The commission immediately suspended him indefinitely. Allen Faulkner would never fight again. The very brief book was closed on the career of one of Buffalo’s most promising, yet under-rated fighters. Tonight we come together to honor as well as induct Allen Faulkner into the Buffalo Boxing Hall of Fame.