Tom Foley was born on November 28, 1875. “Gentleman Tom” was one of the Maritimes most unique and talented athletes. He was regarded as one of top welterweight boxers in North America from 1900 to 1914. It was during this time that he fought and defeated many of the best boxers in the world.
In 1911, Foley moved to Glace Bay where he owned and operated a gymnasium. Up until 1911 he had been in over 50 bouts and had suffered only three defeats. He was said to be the most clever welterweight champion since the time of featherweight champion George Dixon. Foley was also one of the original Canadian gymnasts and he won a National Gymnastic title in Montreal.
There were no better Canadian gymnasts than Tom Foley, and the exhibitions he performed in St. Patrick’s Hall on Barrington Street were well remembered. He also participated in many other sports as he was an excellent swimmer, diver, and a great competitor in track and baseball. After Foley retired from competition he became a boxing instructor and was the first man to train Roddy MacDonald, the great Cape Breton boxer.
Foley also became one of the best boxing referees in the Maritimes on top of his coaching. He once refereed an exhibition bout between World Heavyweight Champion Jack Dempsey and Canadian Champion Jack Renault. Tom Foley passed away on May 2, 1944. He is an Original member of the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame.
• 1 of Maritimes most unique and talented athletes
• 1 of the top welterweight boxers in North America
• Defeated many of the best boxers in the world
• Only lost 3 bouts from a total of over 50
• Also a National Gymnastic Title winner
• Excelled in swimming, diving, track and baseball
• Excellent boxing instructor
• One of the best boxing referees in the Maritimes