Whos an interesting boxer?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by SonnyListon>, May 15, 2024.

  1. SonnyListon>

    SonnyListon> Member Full Member

    May 14, 2024
    I started getting really into boxing abt 2 months ago. I love the rags to riches stories especially ones that involve black people/racism, its great to see how they as a group evolved after slavery was abolished.
    My favorites are
    Liston,Foreman,Tyson,Fraizer,and Louis

    Who should i research, any recommendations?
    thistle likes this.
  2. Greg Price99

    Greg Price99 Boxing Addict Full Member

    Dec 17, 2018
    If its ATG black boxers who in their own way were pioneers, you could do worse than start your research with:

    George Dixon - first black world champion and to this day is up there for most defences of the lineal FW title.

    Joe Gans - great of the 1890's and 1900's. To this day a top 3 all time LW and top 15 ATG P4P boxer.

    Jack Johnson - first black HW champion, the epitome of a non-conformist. Was he brave, arrogant, selfish or all 3?

    Joe Louis - in many ways the opposite of Jack Johnson, in so much as he fought to be accepted by, rather than rebelled against, the white establishment. Nevertheless, the transition in how the white press wrote about him, in a racial context, from the start to the end of his career may well be of interest to you.

    Even putting all racial elements aside, four great boxers with fascinating careers.
  3. Dorrian_Grey

    Dorrian_Grey It came to me in a dream Full Member

    Apr 20, 2024
    For rags to riches black fighters you might be interested in guys like:
    • Sam Langford: the greatest fighter to have never won a world title and arguably the greatest fighter ever if you dig deeply enough into his resume
    • Aaron Pryor: a super-lightweight champion whose legacy is shrouded by controversy and his career cut short by drug addiction
    • Harry Wills: A highly avoided heavyweight great who was the man avoided by Jack Dempsey for years
    • Dick Tiger: excellent middleweight from Nigeria and arguably the greatest African fighter
    • Ike Williams: an ATG lightweight
    • Ezzard Charles: the greatest ever light-heavyweight champion and a great heavyweight champion
    • Any of the murderers' row fighters from the '30s and '40s who were some of the most skilled and avoided fighters ever like Charley Burley, Jimmy Bivins, Cocoa Kid, Lloyd Marshall, Holman Williams, Jack Chase, Aaron Wade, Eddie Booker, the aforementioned Ezzard Charles, and Archie Moore. Springs Toledo has a very good book on these fighters.
    If you're wanting to look more into boxing history, The Fight City is a very good resource and their articles are well-written and well-researched.
  4. Kid Bacon

    Kid Bacon All-Time-Fat Full Member

    Nov 8, 2011
    Jersey Joe Walcott's life is a very dramatic story of endurance and willpower, becoming a champion against all odds.

    There are also two non-black boxers I recommend to check:

    -Barney Ross, the greatest jew boxer ever. His whole life is an amazing tale of tragedy and triumph: a destitute orphan, a young gangster, a boxing champion, a high living millionarie, a bankrupted businessman, a war hero, a drug addict, an advocate against drugs.

    - Max Schmelling, the great german boxer a fighter and a gentleman, his bouts with Joe Louis were the original FOTC: being a national symbol, Max refused to join the nazi party and risked his life to save a couple of jews kids. During WWII he became a paratrooper, survived the war and became a millionarie. He was a lifelong friend of Joe Louis, helping him financially and even paid for his funeral.
  5. Eddie Ezzard

    Eddie Ezzard Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jan 19, 2016
    Steady on, Bake. Benny Leonard says 'Oy Vey'.
  6. HistoryZero26

    HistoryZero26 Member Full Member

    Jan 6, 2024
    3 to look at are Peter Jackson, Sam Langford and Bob Armstrong. Jackson and Langford won HW titles that have been edited out of history by a large portion of the boxing community. Bob Armstrong fought for the lineal HW belt in 1898 in a fight where James Jeffries broke his arm. In a more racially fair world Armstrong might have become champion that day(the sources about that fight don't give enough for me to have a strong opinion on that but its a possibility). Armstrong is also interesting because he was a 6 ft 4 guy fighting in the 1800s.

    Another interesting story about Armstrong is he also lost a 6 round fight to Denver Ed Martin(not to be confused with the white Denver Ed Smith who fought in the same era) for the "colored HW title" where he scored 4 knockdowns. By todays scoring rules that would have unquestionably been a win for Armstrong. Armstrong won the rematch with Ed Martin but by that point Ed Martin had lost that title to Jack Johnson and the curtain fell on Armstrongs career shortly thereafter.

    Jackson is a top 1 or 2 HW of the 19th century IMO. Jacksons title lineage was ultimatly brought into the traditional HW lineage when he came out of pseudo retirement to fight Jeffries. Jeffries lineage would suffer the same fate at the hands of Jack Johnson 12 years later. Langford had various claims to the HW belt during Jack Johnsons era that came to a conclusive end when he lost to Fred Fulton.

    Jackson and Langford aren't African Americans though they were Australian and Canadian respectively. That brings up another thing where in the wee days of boxing the world was kind of British centric and it became American centric after the turn of the century and this is reflected in a lot of the very early disputes about championships.
  7. Vic-JofreBRASIL

    Vic-JofreBRASIL having fun Full Member

    Aug 19, 2010
    Tiger Flowers
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  8. Bronze Tiger

    Bronze Tiger Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jun 23, 2018
    Bernard Hopkins …he’s not the most exciting fighter…but he’s interesting…he’s got an interesting story
    zadfrak and GoldenHulk like this.
  9. GoldenHulk

    GoldenHulk Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jan 7, 2007
    BHOP and Qawi need books written about them, it's more than overdue!
    Bronze Tiger likes this.
  10. Bigcheese

    Bigcheese Well-Known Member Full Member

    Jun 7, 2015
    Check out the book Unforgivable Blackness about Jack Johnson, very colorful guy and a well written book. Ron Lyle certainly has an interesting life story, but I'm not sure I find him all that interesting. I read a biography on him and it was so so.
  11. Jel

    Jel Obsessive list maker Full Member

    Oct 20, 2017
    Matthew Saad Muhammad. Involved in at least half a dozen of the greatest fights you could ever wish to see and an amazing backstory. There are a couple of recent books about him but watch the fights to start with.
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  12. Saintpat

    Saintpat Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jun 26, 2009
    James Scott, 1970s/early 80s light heavyweight.

    Learned to box in prison. Got out and was a rising prospect fighting in Miami when he was arrested again for an armed robbery and was sentenced to Rahway state prison in New Jersey, which had a vocational boxing program.

    Resumed his career behind bars there as they had pro fights. HBO saw some novelty in it and brought in Eddie Mustafa Muhammad (known as Eddie Gregory at that time), the No. 1 contender, to fight Scott. James battered him from pillar to post with a vicious body attack and won.

    Scott went on a tear, beating a few notables and then another No. 1 contender, Yaqui Lopez.

    It all unraveled soon after. He moved up to No. 2 in the rankings but the WBA ruled that it couldn’t make him a mandatory and force a champion to go fight him behind bars. He applied for a furlough to allow him to go under lock and key guarded to Atlantic City to fight for the title but was turned down.

    Somewhere along the way he was convicted of murder over someone who died in the robbery (iirc he wasn’t the alleged trigger man). He seemed to lose his spirit and was beaten by Jerry “The Bull” Martin, then lost to Dwight Muhammad Qawi (Dwight Braxton at the time), who had, ironically, learned to box in Rahway himself.

    That ended Scott’s career.

    There’s an ESPN podcast and I’m sure some good written material online chronicling his story, and you can find some of his prison fights on YouTube (after the one-off on HBO, NBC picked him up because of his compelling story and televised several fights … I think CBS also did one or two).
    thistle likes this.
  13. thistle

    thistle Boxing Addict Full Member

    Dec 21, 2016
    and be sure to watch the Documentary of the same name about Johnson, first class Documentary.

    two others, Jock McAvoy & Bert Gilroy, arguably Britain's best middleweights.

    Freddie Steele, Robert Villemain, Ernie Roderick, all great fighters.

    ATG's - JJW, Charles & Lloyd Marshall as already mentioned.

    the Black Murderers Row, great fighters.

    and for my money one of the most enjoyable Boxing Books focused on the thoughts & realities of the Opponents & Challenger's - FACING ALI, an excellent Book.
    Bigcheese likes this.
  14. Noel857

    Noel857 I Am Duran Full Member

    Mar 24, 2019
    Check out Jerry Quarry his story is a very interesting one if ultimately sad
    Last edited: May 16, 2024
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  15. SonnyListon>

    SonnyListon> Member Full Member

    May 14, 2024
    I know a bit abt Joe Louis, mostly his bouts with schmellimg. Looking into it more could be interesting. Thanks.
    Greg Price99 likes this.