The best boxer at Harvard may very well be a freshman by the name of Bill Weeks. This afternoon he will be boxing for Dudley House in the lightweight finals of the intramural boxing tournament.
For the last two years, Weeks has been the New England AAU Lightweight Champion, and last year he won the Welterweight Championship as well. His career record is a fantastic 48 wins and 2 losses.
"My father taught me how to use my hands to defend myself," he said yesterday. His father, John Weeks, was once a professional boxer.
"South Boston wasn't the toughest neighborhood in the world, but there were a lot of fights, and since I was a small kid, I figured I'd better discourage people from bothering me," he said. "If I'd been any bigger, I probably would have gotten interested in other sports besides boxing."
St. Patrick's Day
His discovery is pure Hollywood. Three years ago, a friend talked him into trying out in a St. Patrick's Day tournament. He went along reluctantly, but professional trainer Johnny Powers spotted him immediately.
Last spring, he turned down several lucrative professional offers to come to Harvard. "I was disappointed to find out that Harvard didn't have any intercollegiate boxing programs," he recalled, "but I didn't want to go to a place like Annapolis just for that. I'm a pacifist at heart."
Like many athletes at Harvard, Weeks has developed conflicting interests. In this case, the interests include Freshman Council, the Dudley House Committee, Social Committee, and Dining Hall Committee.
He is still undecided about boxing professionally after he completes his education. "When I was training in high school, I could only go out on Saturday nights," he said, "and here at college that really isn't enough."
He is a member of the Wigglesworth-assigned-to-Dudley program, and has already participated in intramural basketball and football for Dudley House. "I'm still too small for football, but sometimes I can get in some combination forearms, and I do all right."
This afternoon's tournament starts at 4 p.m. It may be worth the walk to the IAB just to see Bill Weeks.