Coleman Patrick (Coley) Welch, a name to be reckoned with in professional boxing's upper echelon in the 40's, will become the second boxer to be inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame.
A native and longtime resident of Portland, now living in Nevada, Welch was New England middleweight champion for six years, was ranked as high as No. 3 in the world and was consistently in the top ten in his class.
Like Lewiston lightweight Paul Junior Labbe, who preceded him into the Hall in 1980, Welch was one of Maine's most popular fighters ever. Not only did he draw big crowds to Portland's Expo but he also was a top draw at such big-time arenas as the Boston Garden and New York's Madison Square Garden.
Coley rose quickly from the amateur ranks in a 12-year career that was to see him mix it up with the best in his profession. He won the New England title from Henry Chmielowski in 1941 and didn't yield it until the loss by a close decision to Al (Red) Priest in the Boston Garden, September 6, 1946, in his eighth title defense.
Welch's record was an excellent 100 victories, 22 defeats and 2 draws. More than half of his wins were knockouts.
Welch's career was interrupted by more than a year's service with the Coast Guard in World War II.
Now living in Las Vegas, Nevada, with his wife, the former Lucille Welch of Portland, they have 2 daughters, Colleen and Carol, and 2 sons, Harold and John.
Maine Sports Hall of Fame
P.O. Box 2619
South Portland, ME 04116
Phone (207) 272-2178
The Maine Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1972 for the purpose of: 1) appointing and bestowing recognition awards and scholarships to outstanding Maine high school scholar-athletes; and, 2) to formally honor and memorialize Maine athletes and sports figures who have brought distinction and honor to the state of Maine.