Austin Killeen has had a long career in boxing as a boxer, referee, judge, researcher and writer.
He was introduced to boxing in 1950 at the age of eight when he watched the Joe Louis-Ezzard Charles title fight with his father, grandfather, uncles, older cousins and friends of his father. Watching the fight on his parent’s 12 inch black and white Admiral TV was an experience that started his lifelong love affair with boxing.
Austin had one amateur fight at age nineteen and fought a little while stationed at Ft. Bragg, in North Carolina. Upon his discharge he was a sparring partner for light heavyweight contender Eddie “Redtop” Owens in Springfield, MA. After moving to Fitchburg, MA to pursue his career in teaching he had an opportunity to turn professional at the age of thirty four. When one of the fighters dropped out of a boxing card scheduled for March 12, 1977 in Fitchburg, MA., promoter Sam Silverman (IBHOF 2002 inductee) gave him the opportunity to fill in on seven days notice. Austin did not disappoint Silverman’s faith in him by winning his pro debut over Phil Hart by a first round knockout.
Austin fought for three years and gained a lot of publicity because of his age and profession. He was ranked #7 in the New England middleweight ratings by Malcolm “Flash” Gordon in his publication “Tonight’s Boxing Program.”
In 2005 he became a member of the International Boxing Research Organization (IBRO). The following year Austin started interviewing retired boxers for the IBRO’s quarterly magazine/journal. He loves writing about each fighter’s experience both in and out of the ring. This has resulted in forming close friendships with many of the fighters he wrote about. In 2011 he started to write a weekly column about the current boxing scene in the states of New Mexico, Arizona and Texas. Unlike most of the country, boxing in New Mexico is enjoying a rebirth and Austin is firmly entrenched in its revival by covering all professional fight cards and New Mexico Golden Gloves tournaments.
Austin was inducted into the New Mexico Boxing Hall of Fame in 2015.
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