The 1930s

Bengal Bouts: 1930s

In 1931, Scholastic Magazine, Notre Dame’s weekly student newspaper, replaced the S.A.C. as the sponsor of the Bengal Bouts program. Neil C. Hutley, the Managing Editor of the Scholastic during this time, saw Notre Dame Boxing as a unique opportunity. With the help of football coach Hunk Anderson and a talented boxer from upstate New York, Dominic Napolitano, the boxing program was transformed. Fellow student athletes would box each other for the University Boxing Championships that came to be known as the Bengal Mission Bouts. Admission was charged for the first time and the proceeds would be sent to the Holy Cross Bengal Missions in the province of East Bengal, India (now Bangladesh).

The first annual Bengal Mission Bouts was held as a one-night smoker in the old Field House in front of an enthusiastic 2,000 fans, and $500 was raised for the Bengal Missions.

Max Marek, a 1935 Bengal Bout champion, was an outstanding competitor. In competition outside the Bengal Bouts he would defeat Joe Louis as an amateur in the Chicago Golden Gloves.


A boxer shown in boxing trunks and boots