Featherweight Petey Virgin

Petey Virgin was a feisty Capital Region featherweight in the 1940s.  He took his boxing career from McNearney Stadium in Schenectady to Hawkins Stadium in Albany to Madison Square Garden, and then to Hollywood, California.  Virgin was the 10th-ranked featherweight in the world in 1947.  After a lengthy career (nearly 200 fights), Virgin was about to take on Willie Pep for the World Welterweight Crown when he suffered an eye injury and was forced to retire from boxing.  Pep had turned down an offer to figjht Virgin earlier in his career because of Virgin’s reputation  as a dirty fighter.  Virgin had four different managers during his career.  “They stole me blind,”  said Virgin.  “I was pretty experienced by that time, and I was pretty much my own boss.  But you had to have a manager to get you fights.  Al Weill was the biggest crook of them all.  I had to pay him 50% of my purse, but at least he got me fights.”  After retiring from the ring, Virgin became a bartender at various locations around the country.  He also worked in construction.  Later, he was inducted into the Schenectady Ring 26 Boxing Hall of Fame.  Virgin passed away in 2004.

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