Related Olympians: Brother of Vic Toweel.
Medals: 1 Bronze (1 Total)
A member of a prominent boxing family that included another Olympian, his brother [Vic], Willie Toweel took up boxing full time in 1948 and earned his first of five consecutive East Rand Transvaal Junior and Senior Championships that year. The height of his amateur career came when he was selected to represent South Africa at the 1952 Summer Olympics as a flyweight. He won his first four bouts against [Kornel MolnÃ¡r] of Hungary, [Leslie Handunge] of Sri Lanka, [Al Asuncion] of the Philippines, and [Han Su-An] of South Korea, before being stopped by eventual gold medalist [Nate Brooks] of the United States. His semi-final loss, however, earned him one of the two bronze medals, the other going to the Soviet Unionâs [Anatoly Bulakov].
Toweel turned professional the following year and won his first 20 fights, which included defeating Kalla Persson for the vacant Transvaal bantamweight title, Matthew Raaff for the vacant South African bantamweight title, Jackie O'Connor in defense of that title, and Tony Lombard for the vacant South African featherweight title. He defended the latter title twice in 1955, against Louis Klopper and Henry Bruyns, before being dealt his first loss in a bout for the British Empire and South African lightweight titles against [Johnny van Rensburg]. Six months later, however, Toweel defeated van Rensburg in a rematch to claim the titles and held him to a draw in a third bout. He held the titles for nearly three years, fending off additional challenges from Richie Howard, van Rensburg, and Dave Charnley, before finally losing it to Charnley in a rematch. In 1960 Toweel bested Benny Nieuwenhuizen in a bout for the vacant South African welterweight title, but lost it to Jannie Botes less than a month later due to a disqualification. After losing a final fight to Emile Griffith, Toweel retired with a record of 46-6-2. He then moved on to a successful career as a boxing trainer, whose students included professional world champions Brian Mitchell and Thulani Malinga.
|1952 Summer||18||Helsinki||Boxing||Men's Flyweight||South Africa||RSA||3T||Bronze|
|1952 Summer||18||Helsinki||Boxing||South Africa||RSA||Semi-Finals||Match #2||2||1952-08-01||Brooks (USA) , Toweel (RSA)||0|
|1952 Summer||18||Helsinki||Boxing||South Africa||RSA||Quarter-Finals||Match #1||1||1952-07-31||Toweel (RSA) , Han (KOR)||3||decision|
|1952 Summer||18||Helsinki||Boxing||South Africa||RSA||Round One||Match #9||1||Toweel (RSA) , MolnÃ¡r (HUN)||3||decision|
|1952 Summer||18||Helsinki||Boxing||South Africa||RSA||Round Two (Redraw)||Match #8||1||1952-07-31||Toweel (RSA) , Asuncion (PHI)||2||decision|