|George Frederick Byers|
|Weight(s)|| Light heavyweight |
|Height||5 ft 8.5 in (174.0 cm)|
|Born||June 25, 1872|
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
|Died||April 10, 1937 64) (aged|
|Wins by KO||17|
|Losses||7 (4 KO)|
George Byers (June 25, 1872 – April 10, 1937) was a Canadian boxer who won the World Colored Middleweight Championship in 1897 and held the World Colored Heavyweight Championship from September 14, 1898 to March 16, 1901, a reign of 913 days. The 5′ 8½″ fought out of Boston from 1895 to 1904 at a weight of between 120 and 165 lbs., in many weight classes and frequently against men that were much larger than himself. On 9 December 1897 in Waterbury, Connecticut, he faced Harry Peppers in a title match for the World Colored Middleweight Championship. Byers knocked out the undefeated Peppers, the Pacific Coast Middleweight Champion of the Pacific Coast in the 19th round of a 20-round contest. . He took up US citizenship in 1917 (subscription required)
Byers fought Frank Childs for the world colored heavyweight title on 14 September 1898 at the Lenox Athletic Club in New York City, winning on points in a 20-round bout. Childs continued to claim the title during Byers' reign, and fought former colored heavyweight champ Bob Armstrong on 4 March 1899 in Cincinnati, Ohio in a fight announced as being for the title.
Byers next fought Childs, who was billing himself as the "black heavyweight title" holder, on 16 March at the Star Athletic Club in Chicago. Byers had put his colored heavyweight title on the line and emerged victorious, winning a decision in a six-round contest.
One year later, on 16 March 1901, Byers lost his title to Childs when the ex-champ KO-ed him in the 17th round of a 20-round title bout. They never fought again.
Byers racked up a record of 20 wins (17 by knock out) against seven losses (knocked out four times) and 20 draws.
In 2020 award-winning author Mark Allen Baker published the first comprehensive account of The World Colored Heavyweight Championship, 1876-1937, with McFarland & Company, a leading independent publisher of academic & nonfiction books. This history traces the advent and demise of the Championship, the stories of the talented professional athletes who won it, and the demarcation of the color line both in and out of the ring.
For decades the World Colored Heavyweight Championship was a useful tool to combat racial oppression-the existence of the title a leverage mechanism, or tool, used as a technique to counter a social element, “drawing the color line.”
Edward Patrick "Mickey" Walker was an American professional boxer who held both the World Welterweight and World Middleweight Championships at different points in his career. Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, he was also an avid golfer and would later be recognized as a renowned artist. Walker is widely considered one of the greatest fighters ever, with ESPN ranking him 17th on their list of the 50 Greatest Boxers of All-Time and boxing historian Bert Sugar placing him 11th in his Top 100 Fighters catalogue. Statistical website BoxRec rates Walker as the 6th best middleweight ever, while The Ring Magazine founder Nat Fleischer placed him at No. 4. The International Boxing Research Organization ranked Walker as the No. 4 middleweight and the No. 16 pound-for-pound fighter of all-time. Walker was inducted into the Ring Magazine hall of fame in 1957 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame as a first-class member in 1990.
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Charles Presser (1885–1960), who fought under the name Sailor Burke, was an accomplished New York welter and middleweight boxer who often competed against light heavyweights including several contenders and champions. These included controversial black heavyweight champion Jack Johnson, American welterweight contender and European champion Willie Lewis, and British world middleweight championship Billy Papke.
Bob Armstrong, was a heavyweight boxer known as the "King of the Battle Royal". He was born in Rogersville, Tennessee, but he moved with his family to Washington, Ohio when he was three years old.
Herbert Lewis Hardwick Arroyo a.k.a. "Cocoa Kid" was a Puerto Rican boxer of African descent who fought primarily as a welterweight but also in the middleweight division. Hardwick won the World Colored Championships in both divisions. He was a member of boxing's "Black Murderers' Row" and fought the best boxers of his time. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2012.
Obie Walker, born Obie Dia Walker in Cochran, Georgia, was a professional boxer. Walker was the penultimate World Colored Heavyweight Champion from 9 October 1933, when he out-decisioned title holder George Godfrey in a 10-round fight at the Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to 20 July 1935, when he lost the title on a decision in a 15-round bout to former colored heavyweight champ Larry Gains on 20 July 1935 in Tigers Rugby Stadium, Leicester, England.
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Frank Childs, "The Crafty Texan", was an African American boxer who fought professionally out of Chicago from 1892 to 1911 and twice held the World Colored Heavyweight Championship. Fighting at a weight of between 160 and 185 lbs., the short, stocky Childs fought middleweights, light-heavyweights and heavyweights. He had a powerful punch.
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Klondike was an African American boxer billed as "The Black Hercules" who declared himself the black heavyweight champion. Born John Haines or John W. Haynes, the 6' tall Klondike fought out of Chicago as a heavyweight at a weight of 190 to 200 lbs. from 1898 to 1911. He took the nickname because he was supposed to be a great find.
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 World Colored Welterweight Championship was a title that existed during the time of the color bar in professional boxing.
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|Awards and achievements|
| World Colored Middleweight Championship |
December 9, 1897–Unknown
| World Colored Heavyweight Championship |
September 14, 1898–March 16, 1901