A dream came true for an old boxing salt in Portland, Oregon, USA. At 81, Carl Hayford’s fondest wish was to hit the bag again. West Portland Boxing Team made it happen – with style.
There was the press of boxers, the sound of leather bounding leather, the smell of sweat – and balloons, t-shirts, a trophy, and cake. Monday evening, Sept. 15th, Carl’s friends and family brought him from the care center where he lives to the old-style boxing gym.
Carl was very much at home in the gym. He sparred, told war stories, and hit the bag.
Carl “The Swede” Hayford – named for his wavy blond hair – was a champion prizefighter with a record of 46 – 4 with 26 KO’s. He fought in Eugene and Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington.
Carl first learned boxing from his father, and went on to box in the army at Camp Roberts in California. When the Army World Class Athlete program heard about Carl’s big night, they sent him an Army Sports t-shirt.
He stopped boxing when an opponent was seriously hurt during a match. Carl said he just wanted to box, not risk seriously hurting anyone.
Coach Bill Meartz told Carl he was welcome anytime, although they wouldn’t always have cake.