Born in Miscouche, P.E.I., on July 10, 1935, Walter “Peanuts” Arsenault began his boxing career on September 22, 1945, boxing continuously for 27 years, and, remarkably for his sport, without the benefit of a manager. His professional career spans 114 ring battles, and his record stands at 67 wins, 38 losses and 9 draws. He would be called the “Champion near Champion,” and weighing from 142 pounds to 152 pounds, he was often too heavy for the welterweight class, and too light for the middleweights. A shorty at five-foot-seven, Arsenault had the physique, in Wilf McCluskey’s words, of “a sawed-off horse,” and the technique of “a free-swinging, two
fisted, slam-bang scrapper.”
Possessing a granite chin and beefy shoulders, “Peanuts” also relied on his great courage and limitless self-confidence in facing more ring champions than any other Island-born professional boxer on record, 23 in total, from featherweight champ Davie Hilton to light-heavyweight champ Rene Durelle. Arsenault would claim that former Canadian and British Commonwealth welterweight champion Clyde Gray was the greatest boxing opponent he had fought. Considered a “Fighter’s fighter.” Arsenault’s style of fighting was of the toe-to-toe two-fisted variety, and would earn him the reputation of being one of boxing’s gamest ring warriors.
Once ranked among the top contenders for the Canadian welterweight title, Walter “Peanuts” Arsenault would be on the short end of a hotly-disputed decision loss to Albert “Ace” Breau in Wabush, Labrador, on February 17, 1969, preventing him from winning the Junior Welterweight championship of Canada. Because of his punishing brand of boxing, “Peanuts” was frustrated in his quest for subsequent title bouts. Veteran trainer and manager Tom McCluskey captured Arsenault’s heartbreaking predicament in this way, “Sure, I’d match one of my fighters against Arsenault, if I hated my fighter. Arsenault can handle most of the middleweights and light-heavyweights around, never mind the welterweights like himself. That guy would be even money against an angered grizzly, he’s just too good.”
Walter “Peanuts” Arsenault would fight in rings all across Canada, as well as the New England states. During one two-month stretch in 1970, while at the age of thirty-five, “Peanuts” would fight seven bouts, winning six of them. And on April 4, 1970 Arsenault would fight in North Adams, Massachusetts, against Al Romano, when he was the North American welterweight champion, only to be edged out in a close 12 round split decision.
He fought his last fight on February 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. In many ways, this is the finest testimony to the indestructible spirit of Walter “Peanut’s” Arsenault, “the Miscouche Slugger.”
Check http://www.boxrec.com/boxer_display.php?boxer_id=23059 for details of his fight record.
Walter passed away in April 2014.
Updated: October 2015
Updated: February 2018
File Contains: induction file; photo; letters; bio; clippings from Wilf McCluskey and John McNeill