THE BOXING NEWS
HISTORIC BOXING NEWSPAPERS AND HISTORY
You will enjoy reading some of these historic newspapers and articles.
Some of the greatest boxing events from the 1800's thru modern history.
THURSDAY, JUNE 23, 1938
JOE LOUIS vs MAX SCHMELING
THE NEGRO IN THE RING
_ From the day the prize ring took
definite shape, which was when
James Figg was acclaimed champion of
England, the negro has played a promi-
nent part of the sport of fighting. The
first, my records will have it, was Bill
Richmond, "clever enough, but not a
Tom Molyneaux, a Virginian black who
went to England and fought many won-
derful battles, two against the immortal
Tom Cribb; and then hit the high spots
and died penniless in Ireland." There
followed Bob Travers, who only lost to
the great Jem Mace from sheer exhaus-
_ Jack Johnson was the first negro to
win the heavyweight championship of
the world. "Is there no white man to
beat this swaggering nigger?" Jack
London wrote, and out of retirement
undefeated Jim Jeffries was brought and
set up as a white hope.
_ Jeffries had been inactive for nearly
eight years when, under severe pressure,
he consented again to go to war. He
was 35 and running to seed.
When he took the ring at Reno he
was but a shell of the real Jeffries.
Johnson prodded and thumped to vic-
tory, while prattling and flashing his
teeth of gold. It was a fight that should
never have taken place, for the dice
were loaded heavily against the old
_ That understanding Tex Rickard, the
promoter, had placarded it as a con-
dition of entrance to the arena that
"Gentlemen must deposit their guns at
the box office."
_ Some months later I met and traveled
with Johnson and his white wife, a
pretty brunette, on his way to London.
He was loaded with diamonds and
stuffed with dollars, professing to be on
more than nodding acquaintance with
Herbert Spencer, whose works he
paraded gleefully in a flat he took in the
_ With the passing of Johnson came the
acceptance of negros as contenders for
world titles. Whether for better or worse
I am shy to say. Nor am I disposed to
quarrel with those who are intolerant
of fights between whites and blacks.
_ If I were invited to name the
straightest, the cleanest and one of the
most chivalrous fighters within my
recollection, it would be Peter Jackson,
to whose memory stands a monument in
Queensland. His fight with Frank Slavin
at the National Sporting Club in London
forty-seven years ago has gone into his-
tory as one of the greatest.
_ Jim Corbett, on a June afternoon I
spent with him in the shelter of his Long
Island Garden a few weeks before
Dempsey was to defend his title against
Georges Carpentier, declared the Jack-
son was beyond compare a black man
who in his conduct and approach to life
_ And in "The Roar of the Crowd"
Corbett said of Jackson: "The night I
fought Jackson (the fight went to the
61st round and was left drawn) I
thought he was a great fighter. Six
months later, still being tired from that
fight, I thought him a great one. And
today, after thirty-three years, as I sit
on the fifteenth floor of a New York sky-
scraper writing this, I still maintain that
he was the greatest fighter I have ever seen."
_ Johnson is considered to be the most
redoubtable black since Jackson by the
majority of qualified assessors. I am not
so sure. one man who might have
beaten him was Sam Langford. John-
son, however, did not fight him as he had
arranged to do so at the National Sporting
_ Langford was as near as made no
matter the perfect fighting machine. No
present-day heavyweight could have
held up against him. he was so terrific
that he was repeatedly sidestepped, and
many times, in order to secure employ-
ment, was forced to play light.
_ Joe Jeanette and Sam McVea were of
the Langford era, and they were also out-
standing. It was their misfortune that
because of the harum-scarum ways of
Johnson they were ruled out of cham-
_ There is a small cause for alarm because
three negros have within recent times
won world's honors. The coloured
fighters of account are no longer
Ishmaels of the ring. I have found them
well behaved, requiring no sidewalk all
_ Louis is without vice. The dazzle of
life is not for him. Rather is he impatient
for the day when he might leave fight-
ing, the blare, the clatter and the con-
duct of it to others.
_ John Henry Lewis, holder of the
world's cruiser title, and John Henry
Armstrong, feather and welter cham-
pion, are vastly different from Louis.
They are ambitious, have more than
average intelligence, and, among
coloured folk, tower. Both hope when
they reach the end of their fighting
careers to set up as preachers of the
_ Armstrong at and round about his
particular weight is the most formidable
fighter produced by America for many
years. He is shortly to attempt to win
the lightweight title from Lou Ambers.
Greatest of All
Peter Jackson, "cleanest and one of the
most chivalrous fighters."
If he succeeds I am afraid there will be
another hue and cry against the clashing
Historic boxing newspapers and articles.