Originally Posted by Homicidal Hank
Everybody in his day considered him a journeyman. That's what he was, Sizzle. It wasn't until the war saw millions of young men overseas that Walcott returned to the ring (after a long retirement) and was able to move up through the rankings. The man lost 18 fights against fewer than 60 wins and was knocked out 6 times. He was beaten by light heavyweight Joey Maxim and was even knocked out by Abe Simon. Walcott is the quintessential journeyman.
You're absolutely right. Although he eventually rose above the "journeyman" label, for most of his career, that's exactly what Walcott was. People remember him mostly for his close "loss" to Louis, his series with Ezzard Charles, and his fights with Marciano. But before all that, he was very much a journeyman.
To me, a classic journeyman are guys like Marion Wilson and Everett "Bigfoot" Martin - guys that provide a test, but only rarely, if ever, beat the next level of fighter. The "journeyman made good" - guys like Braddock, Walcott or Weaver - transcend their status by winning titles and contending.