A memorial for Joe will be held:
When: Sunday September 30, 2007
Where: Hungarian Culture Club, 64 Albany St, Oshawa,ON
Boxing Ontario wishes to express their condolences to the entire Hajnal Family. Joe Hajnal passed away this morning. He was a valued member and friend to all of us and he will sorely be missed. As well all remember we saw Joe win the BUILDER Award at the annual Boxing Ontario awards ceremony in April. He was present to receive it and was extremely humbled and grateful that you, his peers, thought he was deserving of this award.
As we all know how charming and funny he was, I am very grateful that I personally had the chance to meet Joe and learn about Boxing Ontario from him. Joe made me promise that I post his life’s tale for you all to read and reflect on what such a great person he was..so as a tribute to Joe Hajnal below I present his bio – written in his own words-
Joseph Hajnal B.SC.ENG
March 11, 1933 – September 20, 2007
Joe had a very distinguished career in boxing as an amateur and pro boxer in the light-welter division in Europe and in Canada. He was and Hungarian Olympian in 1952 (Helsinki, Finland), Hungarian National Champion in 1954 and he represented his native country with honour in many international competitions before he emigrated to Canada in 1957.
Upon arriving to Toronto he started training at Landsdowne and later at Sully’s Boxing club. As he was searching for a trainer he ended up in Brantford at ‘Mr.Boxing” Frank Bricker’s club. Frank and Joe clicked right away and they developed a mutual respect and friendship for life. With Frank, Joe won the Canadian AAU Championship in 1959 and had eight pro fights never losing one.
After retiring from competitions he started coaching in the same club while at the same the famous Summerhayes brothers were starting their pugilistic endeavours. Joe became their ‘beginners’ coach.
As we all know that in the late 60’s the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) was in disarray and folded. This left no association to control amateur boxing in Canada, therefore Canadian boxers could not represent Canada at any of the AIBA sanctioned tournaments.
The only members of AIBA from Canada, Mr. Jerry Shear saw the opportunity to campaign for the new association CABA and Joe joined this campaign. Joe for saw the need and growth for a true amateur boxing association. The result – CABA Incorporated (1969) by eight founding members-including Joe.
Joe never stopped working for the new CABA campaigning in Ontario and other provinces to form their own boxing governing body and join the Canadian Amateur Association to give a chance to for our athletes to be seen on an international level of competition. So with many dedicated volunteers -here just to give tribute to a few of them – David Sparkes, Nels Scavarelli, Stuart Charbula, Benny DiDomenico, Denis Bradley, Johny Trapiano, Joe Hajnal and our first president, Jerry McCoob- Boxing Ontario was formed in 1972.
At Boxing Ontario’s first official meeting, Joe was selected Director of Coaching-held that position from 1972-1982. During his tenure Joe wrote and published many articles, all related to improving coaching and boxing in Canada. One of his papers serves as a basis for Level I and II technical manuals. For that reason Joe was asked by CABA and the Coaches Association of Canada to be on the task force to produce the manuals and implement the coaching certification program.
Joe obtained the qualification of coaching technical course instructor and right away organized many courses for Ontario coaches. At the very first technical course Joe enlisted the help of ringside doctors, referees/judges, international coaches and government officials to enhance the knowledge of our coaches. It was a great success; 85 Coaches and 10 Officials attended.
Ontario was leading in development or our boxers technical and mental skills, thanks to Joe, by implementing several programs. One is a structured training camp before major competitions. During these training camps Joe had influenced many of Ontario’s top competitors careers-Junior Lewis, Chris Johnson (first Canadian boxers KO-ed Cuban boxers 1982 Canada Cup, Ottawa) Nolan brothers, and Vanderpool brothers just to name a few.
For those hard works, Joe was selected by the CABA Board to be a National Coach for many international competitions: Cuba, 1976 Olympics-Montreal, Finland, Russia, Greece Germany and Hungary. For awhile he was called unofficially the Olympic Coach. Joe was never a selfish person, always selecting less experienced coaches as his assistants or to be head coach with him to develop their coaching skills in the higher level of competitions.
Beside his busy schedule in Ontario and National level coaching, Joe maintained coaching at club level in his own Oshawa Olympic Boxing Club and later at Ajax Boxing Club with Don Ross, where he produced Ontario and National Champions-Joe Jejelka, Jeff Lewis, Danny Stoke, Tom McKay, Tom Hajnal, Brian Stafferd, Jimie Hichert, and Robbie Low.
Joe was very fortunate to assist the Ajax club pros; Clyde Grey, Danny Stoke, and Jimie Hichert in some of their preparation for their major bouts.
In the late 80’s personal circumstances took Joe to Kitchener Boxing Club where he guided Fitz ‘The Whip” Vanderpool’s pro career to a World Championship and help Arnie Boehm with his amateur athletes.
Upon retirement from active work, Joe moved back to Oshawa and joined the Motor City Boxing Club and presently Tiller’s Boxing Club in Ajax to pass on his vast knowledge to young athletes.
JOE HAJNAL WE SALUTE YOU!