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This volume presents fifteen chapters of biography of African American and black champions and challengers of the early prize ring. They range from Tom Molineaux, a slave who won freedom and fame in the ring in the early 1800s; to Joe Gans, the first African American world champion; to the flamboyant Jack Johnson, deemed such a threat to white society that film of his defeat of former champion and “Great White Hope” Jim Jeffries was banned across much of the country. Photographs, period drawings, cartoons, and fight posters enhance the biographies. Round-by-round coverage of select historic fights is included, as is a foreword by Hall-of-Fame boxing announcer Al Bernstein.
"Joe Gans captured the world lightweight title in 1902, becoming the first black American world title holder in any sport. This biography features original ringside telegraph reports of his most famous and controversial fights, a complete fight history, photographs, early newspaper cartoons depicting boxers, and tributes to the man considered to be among the finest boxers in history"--Provided by publisher.
An account of the lesser-known story of early sports hero Jon Gans centers on his epic 1906 boxing match against Oscar “Battling” Nelson, discussing how the competition reflected period racial tensions and the realities endured by African-American athletes.
In Boxing: A Concise History of the Sweet Science, Gerald R. Gems provides a succinct yet comprehensive coverage of the sport, recounting boxing’s ancient roots, evolution, and globalization. Throughout, Gems describes important events and individuals, illuminating their impact on the boxing world. Presented in a clear and readable manner, Gems not only includes a historical account of boxing, but also explores such issues as race, religion, rivalries, and the growth of female boxing. While the primary coverage of the book focuses on the United States, Gems’ examination encompasses the sport around the world as well. Featuring numerous photographs, Boxing: A Concise History of the Sweet Science will be of interest to boxing fans, historians, scholars, and those wanting to learn more about the sport.
Extensively researched from contemporary sources on three continents ‘Lanky Bob’ is the first comprehensive biography of world’s heavyweight boxing champion Bob Fitzsimmons for thirty years. A truly international sportsman, Fitz lived in England, New Zealand and Australia before settling in the USA at the age of twenty-seven. World champion at three weights, Bob attracted a legion of supporters including Theodore Roosevelt, Jack London and Lord Lonsdale and, in the shady and hard-bitten world of boxing, his share of enemies, particularly his former managers, lawyers and disgruntled opponents. Usually portrayed as a none-too-bright slugger, Fitz was a leading fistic innovator in the transitional period between bareknuckle and glove fighting. A period when boxing was illegal in most American States and when in some to square up to an opponent was to risk being shot by the local sheriff or US marshal. After experiencing bareknuckle fighting as a young teenager Bob became a whole-hearted adherent of the Queensberry code. Boxing giants such as Jem Mace, Larry Foley and Peter Jackson influenced his progress to championship level. An amiable practical joker Fitz enjoyed close relationships with his trainers and sparring partners, but in the ring was vicious and hard-punching fighter - particularly when hurt. The more unsavoury and distressing aspects of Fitz’s career are not avoided – the sudden death of his wife, marital upsets, the death of a sparring partner and his life in retirement plagued by financial problems, drink and violent behaviour. ‘Lanky Bob’ is the true story of a great champion.
Whether opening saloons, raising cattle, or promoting sporting events, George Lewis "Tex" Rickard (1870-1929) possessed a drive to be the best. After an early career as a cowboy and Texas sheriff, Rickard pioneered the largest ranch in South America, built a series of profitable saloons in the Klondike and Nevada gold rushes, and turned boxing into a million-dollar sport. As "the Father of Madison Square Garden," he promoted over 200 fights, including some of the most notable of the 20th century: the "Longest Fight," the "Great White Hope," fight, and the famous "Long Count" fight. Along the way, he rubbed shoulders with some of history's most renowned figures, including Teddy Roosevelt, Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, John Ringling, Jack Dempsey, and Gene Tunney. This detailed biography chronicles Rickard's colorful life and his critical role in the evolution of boxing from a minor sport into a modern spectacle.
"A fictional, idealized life story of boxing champion Jack Johnson, here called Jack Jefferson. Acting as a lens focused on a racist society, The Great White Hope explores how segregation and prejudice created the demand for a 'great white hope' who would defeat Johnson and how this, in turn, affected the boxer's life and career."--From publisher's website.

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