George Robert Joyal, who was born in St. Boniface on Jan. 1, 1943, died on Jan. 21 in New Westminster, B.C., at the Royal Columbian Hospital, with his son Jerome, and close friend Gloria, by his side. He was 66.
Joyal lived mostly in the Winnipeg area for the first 40 years of his life, before moving to Vancouver. As a professional heavyweight boxer, he fought under the name George Jerome, and took on a long list of fighters, between 1968 and 1980, putting together a record of 13 wins (six by knockout), 14 losses and five draws. Among those he fought were George Chuvalo in 1978 (lost in two rounds by KO) in Toronto and a loss to Pinklon Thomas in 1979. The last fight he had in Winnipeg saw him go the distance, to lose by decision, with local fighter Al Sparks in 1977. He spent the past 20 years as a boxing coach in Vancouver.
A celebration of Joyal's life will be held in Winnipeg, between noon and 3 p.m., Thursday in the reception room at the Donwood West Apartments, 1460 Portage Ave. His funeral was held Feb. 2 at the Glen Haven Memorial in Vancouver.