Famed Prince County boxer dies

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The Miscouche Slugger has died.

 

Walter (Peanuts) Arsenault died Friday in Summerside at the Prince County Hospital surrounded by family members. He was 78.

Born in Miscouche in 1935, Arsenault began boxing in 1945, boxing continuously for 27 years, "and, remarkably for his sport, without the benefit of a manager," said his citation for the P.E.I. Sports Hall of Fame.

He fought 114 professional bouts with 67 wins, 38 losses and nine draws.

His size and fighting style imposed some limits to his success.

"Weighing from 142 pounds to 152 pounds, he was often too heavy for the welterweight class, and too light for the middleweights," said Sports P.E.I.

He did manage to fight more boxing champions than any other Island-born professional boxer on record, 23 in total, from featherweight champ Davie Hilton to light-heavyweight champ Rene Durelle, said Sport P.E.I.

"Arsenault would claim that former Canadian and British Commonwealth welterweight champion Clyde Gray was the greatest boxing opponent he had fought," says his citation.

He was aiming for the Canadian welterweight title when he fought Albert (Ace) Breau in Wabush, Labrador, on Feb. 17, 1969. His loss was "hotly disputed," said Sport P.E.I.

"Because of his punishing brand of boxing, “Peanuts” was frustrated in his quest for subsequent title bouts," reads his citation.

He carried on, however, fighting in rings all across Canada and the New England states. During one two-month stretch in 1970, while at the age of 35,

Arsenault fought seven bouts, winning six of them, said Sport P.E.I.

He fought his last fight on Feb. 14, 1972.

"Called by many ring observers the uncrowned Maritime welterweight boxing champion, the ten count never tolled over Walter (Peanuts) Arsenault during his long and gruelling pro boxing career," said his citation.

Arsenault was born on July 10, 1935 in Summerside to his late parents Alva and Rose (nee Wedge) Arsenault. Loving father of Karen (Paul) Adams of Cornwall, Kevin (Sharon) of Summerside, Rick (Terri) of Ajax, ON., Dawna-Lee (Robert) Perry of Summerside, John Brian (Carey) of Charlottetown and their mother the late Edith (McGaugh), Tyson and Tyler Arsenault of Summerside and their mother Tracy Walfield- Arsenault. Also lovingly remembered by his 9 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Survived by the following brothers and sisters Eddie (Ruth), Donnie (Carol) Brian (Linda), Nellie Craig, Ethel Barton and brother-in-law Stan Wood. Besides his parents, Walter was predeceased by his brothers Reg and Barry, sisters Ruth (Ed) Agor, Margaret Wood and brother-in-law Vince Craig. Resting at the East Prince Funeral Home, 245 Pope Rd. Summerside, until Wednesday, April 23, then to St. Paul’s Church, Summerside, for a funeral mass at 10:30 a.m. Interment to take place in the church cemetery at a later date. Memorial donations in Walter’s memory to the P.E.I. Cancer Society or the Prince County Hospital Foundation would be greatly appreciated. Visiting hours on Tuesday, 2 – 4 and 7 – 9 p.m. Online condolences can be sent to epfuneral@eastlink.ca. Arrangements entrusted to the East Prince Funeral Home, Summerside.  www.peifuneralcoops.com

Organizations: P.E.I. Cancer Society, Prince County Hospital Foundation

Geographic location: Summerside, Miscouche, Iceland British Commonwealth Wabush Canada New England Ajax Charlottetown St. Paul

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