JERRY “PETEY” ARMSTRONG
Jerry “Petey” Armstrong gained boxing stardom at a relatively young age after learning the sport from Patsy Crawford. He was the state’s Novice Championship in 1953 as a hard-hitting 112-pounder. During the same year he won the state AAU boxing tournament as a 16-year-old junior while at Saginaw High School when he upset LeRoy Jeffrey of Detroit, when Jeffrey was a member of the Michigan State College boxing team. Armstrong was a two-time Michigan Gloves’ champion as well as a two-time Michigan AAU champion. He entered the U.S. Army in 1954 as a medical aid with Division Artillery, a unit of the famed 82 nd Airborne Division, called “America\\\’s Guard of Honor.” He continued his boxing exploits while in the Army and was the Third Army Champion at Fort Bragg three consecutive years. In 1956, he was the all-Army runner-up, while winning all-Army titles in both 1957 and 1958. Armstrong won the Bantamweight Division (119) at the Olympic trials in San Francisco in 1959 despite a bloodied nose in the first round. He still earned a unanimous decision over Oscar German to become the first Saginaw athlete ever to represent the United States in the Olympic Games. At the 1960 Summer Games in Rome, he won consecutive fights over Bulgaria’s Stoyan Petrov, Korea’s Choo Kang and Ireland\\\’s Peter Kinney before losing, thus coming one fight from winning a medal. He finished his boxing career at Idaho State University where he earned a boxing scholarship. He was named first team All-America in 1960 by the National Intercollegiate Boxing Coaches Association. He retired from the Idaho Department of Health and currently resides in Boise.