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Utah boxing community mourns death of boxer, physician Jay Lambert

Published February 8, 2012 12:01 pm

Boxing • 1948 Olympian, longtime ringside physician dead at 86.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The state of Utah has lost another of its great boxing legends.

Dr. E. Jay Lambert, who competed in the 1948 Summer Olympic Games in London, but was best known for more than 40 years of service as a ringside physician at thousands of amateur and professional boxing bouts throughout the state, died on Monday in Salt Lake City. He was 86.

Lambert's death came just a week after his longtime friend in boxing, Don Fullmer, passed away in South Jordan.

Born in Helper, Lambert was a standout athlete at Lehi High School before becoming a successful amateur boxer under the tutelage of longtime boxing manager Marv Jenson, who died in 2007.

Lambert was inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame in 1977.

He won the Intermountain Golden Gloves heavyweight title in 1947 and fought in the 1948 Olympics, losing a quarterfinal bout by split-decision.

After leaving professional boxing with an 8-3-1 record (he once fought the great Joe Louis in 1949 in an exhibition match), Lambert went to medical school at the University of Utah and became a general surgeon and volunteered as a ringside physician the next 40 years.

"Jay was always available," said Chick Paris, executive director of Rocky Mountain Golden Gloves. "Anytime we needed a doctor, he was there. We tried to compensate him many times, but he would never take a cent ... It would have cost us $200 or more a night, but Jay wouldn't take a dime."

Lambert retired from the medical profession in 1997. He also spent thousands of hours as the team physician for Granite High football in the 1970s and '80s.

His later years were spent hunting, farming and spending time with his large family.

Graveside services will be held Friday at noon at Wasatch Memorial Lawn, 3401 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to either Doctors Without Borders or Rocky Mountain Golden Gloves Boxing, 7105 W. 3500 South, Salt Lake City, 84128.

drew@sltrib.com