February 22, 2022
William Pryor – Black History month
In honour of Black History Month, we will be recognizing and celebrating Islanders who have had a tremendous impact on sport in the province and beyond.
Born October 14, 1929, in Philadelphia, William Pryor II was raised in the tough West End of Charlottetown, where his parents moved in 1933. He began attending Queen Street School in 1936, where he excelled in softball, basketball, baseball, and of course boxing.
Bill Pryor first started boxing in 1946 with Young Tom McCluskey at Charlottetown’s old Rollaway Club, and in 1947 he left to train under Canada’s legendary fight trainer, “Spotty Talbot” for a short period, then back to McCluskey on PEI. A master boxer rather than a slugger, Bill Pryor was a crowd-pleaser in boxing during his career in the 1940s and ’50s.
In 85 amateur and professional bouts, Pryor never once had the ten-count tolled over him, and was only stopped once in his career –by a TKO –after he broke his right hand in the 1948 Olympic Games Boxing Trials in Moncton.
With time and experience, Bill Pryor was soon on the rise as one of Canada’s finest boxing writers, a columnist with Toronto Weekly, Dartmouth Free Press, Scotia Journalist, The Fourth Estate, and for the national publication, Boxing Illustrated as Canadian editor.
For his lifetime achievement as boxer and sports writer, Bill Pryor was inducted into the Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame on October 29, 1976. That same year he was awarded the Tony Unitas Medal for his contribution to boxing, and was selected by the Canadian Amateur Boxing Association as “Canada’s Best Boxing Writer.”
The story of Bill Pryor illustrates how courage and style can be victorious. An athlete, builder, and journalist who has brought credit to race and his adopted province in the art of boxing. Bill Pryor passed away in December 2011.