Two persons in a square ring. One referee. Three-minutes between bells. 12 or 15 rounds.
Jabs, hooks and uppercuts. One man leaves the ring victorious, the other will feel the sting of the punches longer, having lost the bout.
For years, the name Pelster has been synonymous with boxing in Northeast Nebraska and throughout the Midwest.
On Saturday, April 8, one member of the family will be inducted into the Nebraska Boxing Hall of Fame.
Cyril Pelster, Jr., will be inducted into the Hall of Fame during ceremonies to be held at the Golden Gloves Midwest Regional to be held at the Ralston Arena, 7300 Q Street, Ralston, NE.
He started boxing at the age of 11 and, by the time he was done, had compiled a record of 96-15. He won five Norfolk Golden Gloves titles, two Omaha Golden Gloves titles, three Midwest Golden Gloves titles, and a Panama Army championship at 147 pounds.
This isn’t the first time the Pelster family has been honored for their contributions to boxing. Back in 2001, the family was honored by the Midwest Golden Gloves organization during their annual tournament.
According to an article in the April 4, 2001 edition of The Elgin Review, “Viola Pelster of Elgin, her late husband Cyril, and their 12 sons and four daughters were honored for their contributions to amateur boxing when they were named the Midwest Golden Gloves Champion Family of 2001.
“The Pelsters have a long history in boxing, which spans more than 20 years. They were part of a local boxing program that started in Petersburg in 1962, when the former Duffy’s Drug Store was converted to a boxing gym.
“The older Pelster brothers, George, Dick and Ralph had frequent workouts in the gym and soon started a family tradition by entering and excelling in Golden Gloves competitions. From 1962 through 1984, at least one Pelster brother was involved in the Golden Gloves Tournament. From 1968 through 1985, at least one Pelster competed in the Midwest Golden Gloves Tournament.
“The 12 brothers combined to win more bouts and more championships than any U.S. family. Their achievements included more than 40 Norfolk Golden Gloves championships, 13 Midwest Golden Gloves championships, 10 AAU titles and 15 Silver Golden Gloves and state championships.
“In 1975, five of the Pelster brothers participated in the Midwest Golden Gloves Tournament. In addition, two brothers — Cyril Jr. and Steve — were honorable representatives of the U.S. Army Boxing Team.
According to the Nebraska State Athletic Commission, those numbers break down as follows: Roger won five titles, Junior claimed three, Dick, Steve, Billy, Ted and Ron each captured one title. These seven brothers captured 13 Midwest Golden Gloves championships between 1970 and 1981, a record that may never be broken.
Cyril Jr. will join brothers Roger and Ralph Pelster in the Hall of Fame. Roger, who started boxing at age 11, won two Norfolk Golden Gloves titles,; two Omaha Golden Gloves titles, two Grand Island Golden Gloves titles; one AAU title; five Midwest Golden Gloves titles; and finished his career with a record of 98-9. He was inducted in 1980.
Ralph Pelster started boxing at age 14 and competed for just two years, compiling a ring record of 15-3. He won one Norfolk Golden Gloves championship.
Pelster went on to coach 50 Norfolk Golden Gloves championships and approximately 20 Midwest championships for a total of about 1,800 amateur bouts.
He was inducted in 2006.