Jimmy Young (boxer)

Last updated
Jimmy Young
Statistics
Weight(s) Heavyweight
Height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
NationalityAmerican
Born(1948-11-14)November 14, 1948
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedFebruary 20, 2005(2005-02-20) (aged 56)
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights57
Wins35
Wins by KO11
Losses18
Draws3
No contests1

Jimmy Young (November 14, 1948 [1] – February 20, 2005) was an American heavyweight professional boxer. Young was known for his awkward, defensive style and counterpunching. He had his greatest success during the mid-1970s, most notably earning a victory over George Foreman in 1977 and losing a unanimous decision against Muhammad Ali. Young fought many significant fighters of his era, including twice outpointing Ron Lyle and losing only by a split decision to then-number one contender Ken Norton in a title eliminator in late 1977. A fellow boxer, Bobby Watts, was his cousin.

Contents

Professional career

Early fights

An inexperienced Young was matched against contender Earnie Shavers in what was only his 11th professional fight. Shavers, who at that time had a 42–2 record dealt Young his first knockout loss. Young had tried trading blows and was caught early on by one of the division's hardest punchers [2] who was well known for his overwhelming early attacks.

After this defeat Young went undefeated for the next three years, including a win over contender Ron Lyle and a controversial draw in a re-match with Earnie Shavers with many observers scoring the bout for Young. [3] The improved outcome for Young was largely due to improvements made to his defense since his last fight with the devastating hitter. Despite Young's inability to earn a victory over Shavers, it was still enough to earn him a title fight with the Heavyweight Champion of the World, Muhammad Ali.

The Young–Ali fight

Young achieved widespread public recognition when he fought Muhammad Ali at the Capital Center in Landover, Maryland on April 30, 1976 for the world heavyweight title, although boxing circles had already noted his ability. Ali weighed in at 230 pounds, the highest for any of his fights up to that point (he would weigh 236.25 pounds in his fight against Trevor Berbick), and was consequently slow and immobile throughout the bout. Seven years younger and 21 pounds lighter, Young adopted a strategy of fighting aggressively from a distance, landing numerous light blows while dodging and parrying Ali's counterpunches, and using his body blows, which had little power behind them but were effective at scoring points. At close quarters, Young would turn passive. In addition to retreating whenever possible, Young often kept his head ducked very low in order to deter Ali from landing blows at his head and risk censure from the referee for "rabbit punching". On several occasions when Ali was inside and Young had his back to the ropes, Young intentionally put his head or upper body out of the ring beyond the ropes to compel the referee to step in and separate the fighters. As a novel boxing tactic this divided opinion between its being a way of neutralizing Ali's game, to its being seen as an unsportsmanlike way of causing tactical stoppages every time Ali possessed an advantage. At one point during the bout the referee did initiate a count due to Young's being outside the ropes. The fight went the full 15 rounds resulting in a controversial one-sided unanimous decision in favor of Ali. Referee Tom Kelly scored it 72–65; judges Larry Barrett and Terry Moore had it 70–68 and 71–64, respectively. [4]

Ken Norton, (a rival of Ali) who was commentating at ringside, had the fight even on his own scorecard. Former Ring editor Lester Bromberg called the decision a "travesty". New York Daily News reporter Dick Young said: "[Ali won] by the grace of three hero-worshipping fight officials. I believe many people, the voting officials among them, refuse to believe what they see when one of their super-heroes doesn't function as expected." After the match's televised broadcast many viewers called to the network to complain about the decision, and Ali's career trainer Angelo Dundee went on record as saying this was Ali's "worst fight". After the match there were calls on Ali to retire from the sport from quarters of the sport's media. [5]

Rematch with Lyle and then George Foreman

Young defeated Lyle in a November 1976 rematch by using clever defense and a fast offensive style. He was able to dominate the older fighter, with one judge's scorecard having Young winning 11 of 12 rounds.

In March 1977, Young then fought George Foreman in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Foreman was on a five bout win streak since losing the title to Muhammad Ali in "The Rumble in the Jungle", earning victories over top contenders Ron Lyle and Joe Frazier.

The Young–Foreman fight was somewhat steady until the sixth round. The early rounds were punctuated by complaints from Young and his corner about the use of elbows by Foreman, who was punished by the referee with a point deduction. For the first half of the fight, Young used his somewhat unorthodox boxing skills and good defense to keep out of harm's way, while using his punching speed to counter. In the sixth round he became somewhat more aggressive himself and landed a number of clean punches on Foreman. [6] Eleven seconds into the seventh round, Foreman caught Young with a left-handed body punch, and immediately followed with a powerful swinging left hand to the head. Young reeled and turned away and seemed about to go down, while Foreman tried to pursue his advantage, but somehow Young survived to the end of the round. In his after-match comments on TV, he described it as "desperation". After the near knockdown Young rallied, and landed a number of good punches of his own. As the fight progressed Foreman's eyes became puffy and his punches lost their menace. For the rest of the contest, Foreman continued to move forward, trying to cut off the ring and looking for the big knock out, while taking punches from the elusive Young. In the final round Young managed a knockdown over Foreman, and earned a unanimous win by 12-round decision. The Ring named the Young–Foreman bout its 1977 "Fight of the Year". Young joined Ali as one of the only two men to beat Foreman before his first retirement in 1977.

The Young–Norton eliminator fight

Now the number two contender, Young's next fight was a mandatory world title eliminator against Ken Norton, the number 1 contender. Young had won five straight since his loss to Ali.

Young lost the Norton match that occurred on November 1977 at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, in a controversial split decision. Many observers watching in attendance felt Young should have been declared the winner. While Young boxed cleverly, drawing Norton onto sneak right hand punches, Norton himself pressed forward dangerously, always his best style. The two had sparred when Norton trained for his second Ali match. [7] Norton had found shots thrown first to the head rarely landed so he used a heavy two-handed attack pounding away to the ribs, then lobbing powerful head shots. [8] The fight was set at 15 rounds. Although this was unusual for a non-title match, the format was adopted due to the bout's importance as an eliminator. Due to the importance of the fight, which was later retro-designated as a WBC title match, a large crowd gathered to watch the bout including then world champion Muhammad Ali. Although the winner of the fight was supposed to go on to fight for the heavyweight championship, Leon Spinks, who had won the championship from Muhammad Ali in an upset win on February 15, 1978, chose a rematch against Ali instead of fighting Norton for the WBC title. As a result, Norton was awarded the WBC championship belt

Later career

Demoralised at having lost another close decision, Young went into a gradual downward spiral. In June 1978 poor conditioning, an increasing problem, led to Young being outpointed by prospect Ossie Ocasio. While better in a direct rematch, in January 1979, Ocasio again earned the win and went on to fight the world champion Larry Holmes.

Young won a short three-round brutal battle with unranked Wendell Bailey, showing flashes of old form. But in other matches of note Young fared poorly. He was stopped due to cuts by new heavyweight contender Gerry Cooney after four rounds in a fight where he was dominated. He also lost on points to another rising prospect and future heavyweight champion Michael Dokes. In the 1979 match with Dokes Young was out of shape due to lack of training and weighed 229 lbs., nearly the heaviest he had weighed throughout his career and around 15 lbs. heavier than his ideal fighting weight. However Young was able to slim down for his fight against British champion John L. Gardner, occurring in December 1979. Young outpointed Gardner, knocking him down in the 10th round. The triumph over Gardner as well as wins against Marvin Stinson and Jeff Sims were probably his last notable wins.

Starting in 1981 Young appeared to be making a comeback, winning five in a row, including a TKO over previously unbeaten Gordon Racette. In 1982 however, Young's comeback was cut short when he was defeated on points by future champion Greg Page. He became a "trial horse" for emerging contenders, dropping decisions to more future champions in Tony Tucker and Tony Tubbs. He continued fighting with mixed results until 1988, when he retired at the age of 39.

Later life

After his boxing career, Young had financial, drug, and legal problems. During a court hearing on a drug possession charge, his Philadelphia public defender argued that Young had symptoms of chronic traumatic brain injury due to his time in the ring. [9] At a boxing celebrity event, The Ring noted that Young apparently needed to be helped about by his family.[ citation needed ] He was reported as being afflicted with dementia pugilistica in his last years. [10]

Death

Young died at Hahnemann University Hospital, Philadelphia, at the age of 56 from a heart attack on February 20, 2005. He was interred at Mount Peace Cemetery in Philadelphia. [11]

Publications

Professional boxing record

Professional record summary
56 fights35 wins18 losses
By knockout112
By decision2416
Draws2
No contests1
No.ResultRecordOpponentTypeRound, timeDateLocationNotes
57Win35–19–2
(1)
Flag of the United States.svg Carl PorterTKO2 (6)Sep 22, 1990 Flag of the United States.svg Mississippi Coast Coliseum, Biloxi, Mississippi, U.S.
56Win34–19–2
(1)
Flag of the United States.svg Frank LuxTKO10 (10)Aug 13, 1988 Flag of the United States.svg St. Joseph Civic Arena, St. Joseph, Missouri
55Loss33–19–2
(1)
Flag of the United States.svg Tim AndersonSD10Jun 4, 1988 Flag of the United States.svg Lee County Civic Center, Fort Myers, Florida, U.S.
54Win33–18–2
(1)
Flag of the United States.svg Rick KellarUD10Apr 9, 1988 Flag of the United States.svg Joplin, Missouri, U.S.
53NC32–18–2
(1)
Flag of the United States.svg Mike JamesonNC2 (10)Aug 9, 1987 Flag of Brazil.svg Ginásio do Ibirapuera, São Paulo, BrazilReferee decreed both fighters "faking"
52Loss32–18–2 Flag of the United States.svg Eddie RichardsonSD10Jan 7, 1987 Flag of the United States.svg Community Center, Tucson, Arizona, U.S.
51Loss32–17–2 Flag of the United States.svg Chuck GardnerPTS8Oct 15, 1986 Flag of the United States.svg Medina Ballroom, Hamel, Minnesota, U.S.
50Win32–16–2 Flag of the United States.svg Rocky Sekorski MD10Mar 12, 1986 Flag of the United States.svg Metropolitan Sports Center, Bloomington, Minnesota, U.S.
49Win31–16–2 Flag of the United States.svg Rocky Sekorski UD10Jan 20, 1986 Flag of the United States.svg Marshall, Minnesota, U.S.
48Loss30–16–2 Flag of Tonga.svg Tony Fulilangi PTS10Nov 1, 1985 Flag of the United States.svg Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
47Loss30–15–2 Flag of the United States.svg Tony Tucker UD10Sep 22, 1984 Flag of the United States.svg Ford Fieldhouse, Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.
46Loss30–14–2 Flag of the United States.svg Tony Tubbs UD10Apr 10, 1983 Flag of the United States.svg Hilton Hotel, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
45Loss30–13–2 Flag of the United States.svg Philipp BrownPTS10Aug 29, 1982 Flag of the United States.svg Civic Center, Lake Charles, Louisiana, U.S.
44Loss30–12–2 Flag of the United States.svg Pat CuilloPTS10Jul 13, 1982 Flag of the United States.svg Tropicana Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
43Loss30–11–2 Flag of the United States.svg Greg Page UD12May 2, 1982 Flag of the United States.svg Playboy Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.For USBA heavyweight title
42Win30–10–2 Flag of the United States.svg Tommy ThomasUD10Nov 6, 1981 Flag of the United States.svg Civic Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
41Win29–10–2 Flag of the United States.svg Tom FischerPTS10Sep 26, 1981 Flag of the United States.svg Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
40Win28–10–2 Flag of the United States.svg Jeff SimsSD10Jul 10, 1981 Flag of the United States.svg Auditorium, West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.
39Win27–10–2 Flag of the United States.svg Marvin StinsonUD10Jun 30, 1981 Flag of the United States.svg Sands Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
38Win26–10–2 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Gordon RacetteTKO10 (10)Apr 10, 1981 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Frank Crane Arena, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
37Loss25–10–2 Flag of the United States.svg Gerry Cooney RTD4 (10)May 25, 1980 Flag of the United States.svg Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
36Win25-9-2 Flag of the United States.svg Don HalpinTKO2 (10)Mar 8, 1980 Flag of the United States.svg Great Gorge Resort, McAfee, New Jersey, U.S.
35Win24–9–2 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg John L.Gardner PTS10Dec 4, 1979 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Empire Pool, Wembley, London, England
34Loss23–9–2 Flag of the United States.svg Michael Dokes UD10Sep 28, 1979 Flag of the United States.svg Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
33Win23–8–2 Flag of the United States.svg Wendell BaileyTKO3 (10)Jun 22, 1979 Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
32Loss22–8–2 Flag of Puerto Rico.svg Ossie Ocasio UD10Jan 27, 1979 Flag of Puerto Rico.svg Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico
31Loss22–7–2 Flag of Puerto Rico.svg Ossie Ocasio SD10Jun 9, 1978 Flag of the United States.svg Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
30Loss22–6–2 Flag of the United States.svg Ken Norton SD15Nov 5, 1977 Flag of the United States.svg Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S
29Win22–5–2 Flag of the United States.svg Jody BallardUD10Sep 14, 1977 Flag of the United States.svg Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
28Win21–5–2 Flag of the United States.svg George Foreman UD12Mar 17, 1977 Flag of Puerto Rico.svg Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico
27Win20–5–2 Flag of the United States.svg Ron Lyle UD12Nov 16, 1976 Flag of the United States.svg Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, California, U.S.
26Win19–5–2 Flag of the United States.svg Mike BoswellTKO4 (10)Sep 12, 1976 Flag of the United States.svg Utica Memorial Auditorium, Utica, New York, U.S.
25Win18–5–2 Flag of the United States.svg Lou RoganTKO2 (10)Sep 2, 1976 Flag of the United States.svg Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,U.S.
24Loss17–5–2 Flag of the United States.svg Muhammad Ali UD15 Apr 30, 1976 Flag of the United States.svg Capital Centre, Landover, Maryland, U.S.For WBA and WBC heavyweight titles
23Win17–4–2 Flag of Puerto Rico.svg Jose Roman PTS10Feb 20, 1976 Flag of Puerto Rico.svg Roberto Clemente Coliseum, Hato Rey, Puerto Rico
22Win16–4–2 Flag of the United States.svg Memphis Al JonesTKO2 (10)Nov 12, 1975 Flag of the United States.svg Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
21Win15–4–2 Flag of the Bahamas.svg Bobby LloydKO5 (10)Aug 26, 1975 Flag of the United States.svg Catholic Youth Center, Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.
20Win14–4–2 Flag of the United States.svg Ron Lyle UD10Feb 12, 1975 Flag of the United States.svg International Center Arena, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
19Draw13–4–2 Flag of the United States.svg Earnie Shavers PTS10Nov 26, 1974 Flag of the United States.svg Capital Center, Landover, Maryland, U.S.
18Win13–4–1 Flag of Venezuela.svg Jose Luis GarciaPTS10Jul 6, 1974 Flag of Venezuela.svg Caracas, Venezuela
17Win12–4–1 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Les Stevens PTS10Jan 22, 1974 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg World SC, Grosvenor House, Mayfair, London, England
16Win11–4–1 Flag of the United States.svg John JordanUD6Mar 4, 1974 Flag of the United States.svg Capital Centre, Landover, Maryland, U.S.
15Win10–4–1 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Richard Dunn TKO8 (10)Feb 18, 1974 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg World Sporting Club, Mayfair, London, England
14Draw9–4–1 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Billy AirdPTS8Oct 23, 1973 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg World Sporting Club, Mayfair, London, England
13Win9–4 Flag of the United States.svg Mike BoswellPTS6Aug 14, 1973 Flag of the United States.svg Convention Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
12Win8–4 Flag of the United States.svg Obie EnglishPTS6Apr 23, 1973 Flag of the United States.svg Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
11Loss7–4 Flag of the United States.svg Earnie Shavers TKO3 (10)Feb 19, 1973 Flag of the United States.svg Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
10Loss7–3 Flag of the United States.svg Randy Neumann PTS10Mar 10, 1972 Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
9Win7–2 Flag of the United States.svg Jasper EvansPTS6Feb 12, 1972 Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
8Win6–2 Flag of the United States.svg Lou HicksPTS8Oct 26, 1971 Flag of the United States.svg Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
7Win5–2Andy GeigerKO1 (6)Sep 27, 1971 Flag of the United States.svg Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
6Loss4–2 Flag of the United States.svg Roy WilliamsPTS4Feb 22, 1971 Flag of the United States.svg Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
5Win4–1 Flag of the United States.svg Howard DarlingtonPTS6Nov 24, 1970 Flag of the United States.svg Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S
4Win3–1 Flag of the United States.svg Jimmy GilmorePTS4Jun 22, 1970 Flag of the United States.svg Silver Slipper, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
3Loss2–1 Flag of the United States.svg Clay HodgesUD6Apr 3, 1970 Flag of the United States.svg Coliseum, San Diego, California, U.S.
2Win2–0 Flag of the United States.svg Johnny GausePTS6Dec 9, 1969 Flag of the United States.svg Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
1Win1–0 Flag of the United States.svg Jim JonesTKO1 (4)Oct 28, 1969 Flag of the United States.svg Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.

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References

  1. Biography of Jimmy Young (findagrave.com)
  2. His biography, as detailed in article itself below
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-12. Retrieved 2010-08-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. http://www.boxrec.com/boxer_display.php?boxer_id=000276
  5. https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=A7-hzOuI2KQC&dat=19760501&printsec=frontpage
  6. Video on YouTube
  7. Howard Cosell 1977 commentary on YouTube
  8. YouTube Young fight commentary
  9. "Jimmy Young, 56, Fighter Who Beat Foreman but Lost to Ali, Is Dead". Associated Press. February 24, 2005. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  10. Obituary for Jimmy Young, Los Angeles Times, 24 February 2005. https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2005-feb-24-me-passings24.2-story.html
  11. Real Combat Media
  12. Pub. Doubleday ISBN   0-385-14097-5