Frank Craig

Last updated
Frank Craig
Weight(s) Middleweight
Born(1868-04-01)April 1, 1868
Columbus, Ohio, USA
DiedJanuary 1, 1943(1943-01-01) (aged 74)
Boxing record
Total fights114
Wins by KO42

Frank Craig (April 1, 1868 January 1, 1943) was an African American boxer who was the colored middleweight champion of the world in the Gay Nineties. Born in Columbus, Georgia on April Fool's Day 1868 (some sources claim he was born on 1 April 1870 in New York City while other sources put his birthplace as Columbus, Ohio), the 5′10" Craig fought at a weight of between 153 and 169 lbs. as a middleweight and light-heavyweight during his career. Known as "The Harlem Coffee Cooler", Craig was known as a smart and quick fighter. [1]

The World Colored Middleweight Championship was a title awarded to black boxers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This was the only recognized middleweight championship available to blacks prior to Tiger Flowers winning the world middleweight boxing championship by defeating Harry Greb on 26 November 1926.

The Gay Nineties is an American nostalgic term and a periodization of the history of the United States referring to the decade of the 1890s. It is known in the United Kingdom as the Naughty Nineties, and refers there to the decade of supposedly decadent art of Aubrey Beardsley, the witty plays and trial of Oscar Wilde, society scandals and the beginning of the suffragette movement.

Columbus, Georgia Consolidated city-county in Georgia, United States

Columbus is a consolidated city-county located on the west central border of the U.S. state of Georgia. Located on the Chattahoochee River directly across from Phenix City, Alabama, Columbus is the county seat of Muscogee County, with which it officially merged in 1970. Columbus is the third-largest city in Georgia and the fourth-largest metropolitan area. According to the 2017 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, Columbus has a population of 194,058 residents, with 303,811 in the Columbus metropolitan area. The metro area joins the nearby Alabama cities of Auburn and Opelika to form the Columbus–Auburn–Opelika Combined Statistical Area, which has a 2017 estimated population of 499,128.

Colored Championship

Craig fought colored middleweight champ Joe Butler on 18 March 1893 in Philadelphia and was defeated in the second round. The two met again in a title match in Philadelphia on 20 February 1894 in Philadelphia, and this time, Craig emerged the victor, winning in the fourth round. [2]

Joe Butler was an African American boxer who was the colored middleweight champion of the world in the Gay Nineties. Born in Paoli, Pennsylvania, the 6′ 0½″ Butler fought out of Philadelphia during his career. Known as "The King of the Middleweights", Butler had quick hands and fast footwork and was known as canny fighter who could box or slug it out with an opponent.

Craig never defended the title, which went vacant. He moved to London, England later that year, and began campaigning in Great Britain in October. He competed for the middleweight championship of England, losing to Dan Creedon on October 14, 1895 but winning the title by defeating George Chrisp 24 November 1898 via a K.O. in the 13th round.

Dan Creedon was a middleweight boxer who challenged for the world middleweight title twice and claimed the title between 1895 and 1897. Creedon was born in Invercargill, New Zealand but his boxing career developed in Melbourne, Australia. Like many of Australia's best boxers of this era, Creedon was taught by boxing pioneers Jem Mace and Larry Foley. He held the Australian middleweight title from 1891 until his departure for America in 1892. He challenged Bob Fitzsimmons for the world middleweight title in 1894, in what would be Fitzsimmons' last defense of his belt before becoming a heavyweight. Creedon was knocked out in just 2 rounds. However, a year later he claimed the world title following his victory over Frank Craig in London. Creedon defended his claim to the title at least twice, but he is not commonly recognized as a middleweight champion by boxing historians. He would eventually lose to Kid McCoy, after which his career took a downward spiral.

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Ed Binney
World Colored Middleweight Championship
November 13, 1892 - Unknown (Vacated title)
Succeeded by
George Byers

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  1. "Frank Craig". Cyber Boxing Zone. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  2. "Joe Butler". BoxRec. Retrieved 29 May 2012.