Pat “Patsy” Drouillard
Known during his career as “The Pride of Windsor,” Pat Drouillard was a top ranked lightweight boxer who fought many of the best lightweights in the world during his professional career. He was also the city’s first nationally and internationally-known athlete.
Born in River Canard in 1893, Pat moved to Windsor shortly before the turn of the
twentieth century. He grew up on Wellington Avenue. At the age of fifteen, Drouillard made his professional debut at the Empire Theatre on Pitt Street West. In 1911, he twice challenged the Canadian Lightweight Title-holder Bill Allen. He came up short in his first attempt but was victorious in the rematch. Over the next decade, Drouillard fought at the Empire Theatre and in cities throughout Canada and the U.S. In doing so, he faced some of the best lightweights of the time, including World Champion Freddie Welsh.
Pat Drouillard retired from boxing in 1919, but was never far from the sport that made him famous. He served as a referee for several local bouts in the mid-1920s and opened a boxing gym downtown in 1932. He trained several talented prospects including Al Delaney and Earl Walls. Drouillard also worked as a fight promoter, staging bouts at Wigle Park during the mid-1930s. He also served as trainer and mentor for his nephew Orville Drouillard who also pursued a career as professional boxer.
Sources and Further Reading:
Evening Record and Border Cities Star:
- “The Ring,” page 2, June 4, 1908
- “Secured a Draw with Billy Allen,” page 5, May 6, 1911
- “Drouillard Makes Good Showing with Champion,” page 3, March 25, 1915
- “Boxer Jeered as he Knocked Out Drouillard,” page 13, March 14, 1919
“Sportroom Gossip,” Detroit Free Press, page 17, March 30, 1932