Roy Harris , Cut and Shoot, Texas
Amateur Career: fought at middleweight and light heavyweight. 6-time regional golden glove champion. 4-time state golden glove champion, 1952-55. won the Joe Louis sportsmanship award at the 1955 nationals tournament.
Professional career: 30 wins, 5 loses and 1 no contest.
Roy has continued his ambition and success after retiring from boxing at 28 years of age, serving as a Montgomery County Clerk for 28 years, becoming a practicing attorney in 1972, and drawing up the paperwork to incorporate Cut and Shoot as its own municipality.
Father Henry Harris Sr., a bare-knuckle boxing champion and Southern Heavyweight Prizefighting Champion, taught his sons boxing and wrestling from an early age. Henry Sr. also taught many area youths, believed in teaching the kids self-confidence along with boxing, and encouraged them all to do their best in whatever they did in life. Tobe, Roy and Henry Jr. all excelled in boxing and would achieve great success in competition on the regional, state, national, and world levels. Henry Sr. also trained and cornered Campbell “Wildman” Woodman and he and Henry Jr. trained U.S. Olympian Chuck Walker as well.
The brothers would initially train and spar with each other, then participate in local, many times Houston, amateur bouts. Boxing was also taught in schools in the area of Cut and Shoot and Conroe during the 40’s and 50’s and local tournaments were plentiful. This no doubt had a positive effect on their boxing education as well. During a conversation this author had with Henry Harris Jr., he said, “Well we fought so much during that time, that we really starting getting good”. The boys became successful and began winning Houston Golden Glove and Texas State Golden Glove Boxing Championships in earnest. The Harris brothers would travel anywhere to compete but spent a great deal of time competing in Houston as amateurs and as professionals. Henry Jr. stated that many Houston area coaches and boxers were also generous in teaching he and his brothers’ things that they were able to use in their careers as boxers and trainers. Among the names mentioned were Benny King, who also served as a cut man and Manager to Roy, who Henry spoke very highly of during our conversation.
Roy worked as a 4th grade school teacher and oil field worker during his professional career and also served two years with The United States Army. Roy, a well-schooled boxer with excellent footwork and an educated jab turned professional in April of 1955, at The Sam Houston Colosseum, winning by TKO in 3 rounds over Tommie Smith. Seven months later Roy won The Texas State Heavyweight Championship beating Reagan “Buddy” Turman by a 12-round decision. Roy continued his success, ultimately challenging Floyd Patterson in 1958 for The World Heavyweight Championship, losing in the 13th round when his father Henry Harris Sr. told head trainer Bill Gore to stop the bout.Roy was able to score a knockdown on Patterson during the bout and remained competitive throughout the bout until the later rounds. Roy was not at his best that night due to several reasons, one being his not being able to train and spar as he was accustomed to, due to having to spend time away from home due to his service with The United States Army. With that being said, Roy still offered no excuses after losing to Patterson, simply stating, ” I tried my best”. This type of sportsmanship defined Roy’s career and life and he is said to be very proud of his ability to serve others in his positions as a school teacher, member of the armed services, boxing coach, Montgomery County Clerk, and practicing Attorney. Besides the before mentioned Buddy Turman and Floyd Patterson Roy fought many quality opponents in his professional career including Bob Baker, Willie Pastrano, Willie Besmanoff, Charly Norkus, Sonny Liston, and Henry Cooper. His bout with Pastrano in particular is known to be one of the finest displays of pure boxing by both contestants, ever seen in the heavyweight division.
Henry Harris Jr, also a 4-time Golden Glove Champion fought Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) in the National Golden Gloves Tournament in 1960. He’s trained and worked with many accomplished boxers including Chuck Walker, James “Bubba” Busceme, Mike Williams, and Sherman Griffin. Henry Jr. has been the main coach from the family that has kept the Cut and Shoot boxing legacy alive also training his son Trey Harris and nephews Monte and Robby Lane.
Trey Harris won The Houston Golden Gloves four years in a row and was State Golden Glove Champion in 1991.Trey also achieved a professional record of 14 wins and zero loses before retiring. Monty Lane and Robby Lane who also won multiple Houston Golden Glove Championships.
Alfonso Lopez III, another Henry Harris Jr. protege, is not a relative of The Harris Family but he proudly continues the Harris and Cut and Shoot boxing tradition. He is a multiple times Houston and Texas State Golden Glove Champion and is an active professional boxer with a record of 27 wins and 3 loses, winning The Texas State Super Middleweight Championship as well as the WBC Continental Americas Super Middleweight Title. Lopez also serves as a boxing and fitness coach at his El Tigre Boxing Academy, as well as a boxing promoter with El Tigre Boxing Promotions.