A featherweight in the 1930s and 1940s, Valan was better known as a boxing referee. He officiated many world championship bouts, including Floyd Patterson-Jimmy Ellis in 1968, the second George Foreman-Joe Frazier fight (1976) and the 1979 Larry Holmes-Mike Weaver match. An actor, Valan appeared as the referee in the first boxing scene in Raging Bull.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. March 14, 1917 d. December 29, 1991
Born in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, Valan fought professionally as a featherweight. He fought in the New York area in 1937, including a July bout against the Havana Kid at Madison Square Garden. Valan won the fight in a six-round decision. The following May, Valan fought Jerry Mazza, a former Golden Gloves champion, but lost a six-round decision at the Broadway Arena in Brooklyn. A rematch took place in March 1939 and Valan defeated Mazza in an eight-round decision. In August of that year, he then fought Maxie Shapiro, but lost a four-round technical knockout at Dexter Park.
Brooklyn, New York
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(thank you to Vic Zimet for providing Valan's name to the web site)