World Colored Middleweight Championship

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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 (5 August 1895 - 16 November 1927) winning the world middleweight boxing championship by defeating Harry Greb on 26 November 1926.

Tiger Flowers African-American boxer

Theodore "Tiger" Flowers was an American professional boxer. Nicknamed "The Georgia Deacon", he rose to prominence in the early 20th century, becoming the first African-American World Middleweight Boxing Champion after defeating Harry Greb to claim the title in 1926. He was inducted into The Ring Hall of Fame in 1971, The Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1976, The World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990, and The International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1993.

Harry Greb American boxer

Edward Henry Greb was an American professional boxer. Nicknamed "The Pittsburgh Windmill", he was the American light heavyweight champion from 1922 to 1923 and world middleweight champion from 1923 to 1926. He fought a recorded 298 times in his 13 year-career, which began at around 140 pounds. He fought against the best opposition the talent-rich 1910s and 20s could provide him, frequently squaring off against light heavyweights and even heavyweights.

Contents

Two world colored middleweight champions, George Byer and Sam Langford, went on to win the World Colored Heavyweight Championship.

George Byer American mayor

George Henry Byer was an American politician who served as Mayor of Anchorage, Alaska from 1959 to 1961. He was the first full-time mayor of Anchorage, and was chiefly responsible for Anchorage's first two All-America City Award designations.

Sam Langford Canadian boxer

Samuel Edgar Langford, known as the Boston Tar Baby, Boston Terror, and Boston Bonecrusher, was a Black Canadian boxing standout of the early part of the 20th century. Called the "Greatest Fighter Nobody Knows", by ESPN, many boxing historians consider Langford to be one of the greatest fighters of all time. Originally from Weymouth Falls, a small community in Nova Scotia, Canada. He was known as "The Boston Bonecrusher", "The Boston Terror", and his most infamous nickname, "The Boston Tar Baby". Langford stood 5 ft 7 12 in (1.71 m) and weighed 185 lb (84 kg) in his prime. He fought from lightweight to heavyweight and defeated many world champions and legends of the time in each weight class. Considered a devastating puncher even at heavyweight, Langford was rated No. 2 by The Ring on their list of "100 greatest punchers of all time". One boxing historian described Langford as "experienced as a heavyweight James Toney with the punching power of Mike Tyson".

The World Colored Heavyweight Championship was a title awarded to black boxers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This was the only recognized heavyweight championship available to blacks prior to Jack Johnson winning the world heavyweight title in 1908. The title continued to exist until the reign of Joe Louis as universally recognized champ, as the color bar against black heavyweights was enforced during and for a generation after Jack Johnson's reign as world champ.

Negro Middleweight Champion

Johnny Banks, "The Darkey Wizard", claimed the Negro Middleweight Championship of the World during the 1880s. He lost in a title fight on 26 Jan 1887 in New York City to James Desverney when he was disqualified in the ninth round on a foul. [1] (Desverney apparently never defended the title.) Banks's next fight was with future colored middleweight champ Ed Binney in Boston, in which they drew in the scheduled 13 rounds. Another three rounds were tacked onto the bout and Binney won the fight. [2]

Johnny Banks, was an African American boxer who fought under the sobriquet "The Darkey Wizard" and was the Negro Middleweight Champion of the World during the mid-1880s.

Ed Binney was an African American boxer who was the colored middleweight champion of the World in the Gay Nineties. Born Edward Phinney in Washington, D.C., the 5-foot-9-inch (175 cm) middleweight fought out of Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts during his career. He was known a clever fighter whose punch carried a sting.

Colored Champions

Harris Martin, "The Black Pearl", declared himself the world colored middleweight champion after beating "Black Frank" Taylor in Minneapolis, Minnesota on 2 May 1887, when he knocked out Taylor in the 38th or 40th round of their bout. [3] Martin lost his title to Ed Binney on 30 November 1891 in San Francisco, California.

Harris Martin (1865-1903) was an African American boxer known as "The Black Pearl" who was the first colored middleweight champion of the world.

On 29 February 1892, The Black Pearl fought Charley Turner, "The Stockton Cyclone", in his first fight since losing the title to Binney and was defeated. Turner claimed the title but never defended it. [4] Binney was considered the lineal champ; he had also defeated the holder of the Negro Middleweight title.

Charley Turner was an African American boxer who claimed to be the colored middleweight champion of the World in the Gay Nineties. Born in Stockton, California in 1862, Turner was known as "The Stockton Cyclone". He fought out of Stockton at a weight of between 148 and 156 lbs. during his career, which would classify him as a middleweight by modern reckoning as well as by the standards of the time.

20th Century

From 1912 to 1924, there was a continuous line of colored middleweight champs. The last title holder of this era was Larry Estridge, [5] who defeated previous title holder Panama Joe Gans [6] in a fight at Yankee Stadium on July 26, 1924. He defended the title against Gans at Queensboro Stadium in Long Island City, Queens, New York on August 11th of that year. It was his sole title defense.

Larry Estridge was a middleweight boxer and the last holder of the World Colored Middleweight Championship. The 5'7" middleweight fought out of New York City from 1922 to 1929, racking up a career record of 53 wins against 23 losses and two draws from 1922 to 1929.

Panama Joe Gans was a black boxer who held the World Colored Middleweight Championship for four years, shortly before it was discontinued. Born Cyril Quinton Jr. on November 14, 1896 in Barbados, British West Indies and raised in the Panama Canal Zone, the 5'7" Quinton originally fought out of Panama and then New York City. He took his ringname from boxing great Joe Gans, the first black American fighter to win a world boxing title. He found his greatest fame fighting as a middleweight at between 147 and 160 lbs, but in his early career he took the Panamanian Lightweight Title and contended for the Panamanian Welterweight Title at weights roughly between 130 and 147 pounds.

Yankee Stadium baseball stadium in The Bronx, New York City

Yankee Stadium is a baseball park located in Concourse, Bronx, New York City. It is the home field for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB), and New York City FC of Major League Soccer (MLS). The $2.3 billion stadium, built with $1.2 billion in public subsidies, replaced the original Yankee Stadium in 2009. It is located one block north of the original, on the 24-acre (9.7 ha) former site of Macombs Dam Park; the 8-acre (3.2 ha) site of the original stadium is now a public park called Heritage Field.

Gans had won the title from George Robinson in Madison Square Garden on October 8, 1920. He defended the title twice in 1923, racking up no decisions (and thus keeping his title) against Whitey Black on May 14th in Detroit and against Tiger Flowers in Toledo, Ohio on May 25th. He knocked out Willie Walker via a 9th round K.O. in New York City on June 30th. [7]

After Tiger Flowers lost the title in 1926, there was one more African American middleweight champ, Gorilla Jones, who reigned for six months in 1932. There would not be another black middleweight champ until Sugar Ray Robinson in 1950.

Revived Title

The colored middleweight title was revived in the early 1940s. Charley Burley, who had been the colored welterweight champ, fought Holman Williams for the championship on 14 August 14, 1942 and won on a 9th round TKO. Williams won the title on a decision in their rematch on 16 October 1942, then lost the title on 15 January 1943 to the Cocoa Kid in a 12-round decision. The Kid never defended the title.

List of champions

#NameReignDateDays
held
LocationDefensesNotes
1 Harris Martin 1May 2, 18871673 Minneapolis, Minnesota
USA
1"The Black Pearl" declared himself the world colored middleweight champion after fighting "Black Frank" Taylor to a draw.
2 Ed Binney 1November 30, 1891349 San Francisco, California
USA
1Charley Turner claimed the title after defeating Harris Martin on 29 February 1892 in San Francisco but never defended it.
3 Joe Butler 1November 13, 1892464 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
USA
2Defeated Frank Craig in title defense on 18 March 1893 in Philadelphia.
4 Frank Craig 1February 20, 1894Unknown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
USA
0Vacated title without defending it.
5 George Byers 1December 9, 1897Unknown Waterbury, Connecticut
USA
UnknownByer defeated Harry Peppers, the Pacific Coast middleweight champion; won the World Colored Heavyweight Championship in 1898.
6 Sam Langford 1November 12, 1907Unknown Los Angeles, California
USA
UnknownDefeated Young Peter Jackson; won World Colored Heavyweight Championship in 1909.
7 Eddie Palmer (boxer) 1September 26, 19121331 New York City
USA
4Claimed title after scoring no-decision in bout with "Young" Tommy Coleman.
8 Jamaica Kid 1May 19, 1916Unknown New Orleans, Louisiana
USA
0Did not defend title.
9 Panama Joe Gans 1October 8, 19201387 New York City
USA
5Defeated George Madison at Madison Square Garden; lost title to Larry Estridge at Yankee Stadium.
10 Larry Estridge 1July 26, 1924Unknown The Bronx, New York
USA
1Title became extinct after Tiger Flowers won the World Middleweight title on February 26, 1926.
11 Charley Burley 1August 14, 194263 New Orleans, Louisiana
USA
1Title revived; Burley beat Holman Williams with 9th round TKO.
12 Holman Williams 1October 16, 194291 New Orleans, Louisiana
USA
1Williams beat Burley via points in 15 round decision.
13 Cocoa Kid 1January 15, 1943Unknown New Orleans, Louisiana
USA
UnknownCocoa Kid beat Williams via points in 12-round bout.

See also

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References

  1. "John Banks (the "Darkey Wizard")". Cyber Boxing Zone. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  2. "Johnny Banks". Box Rec. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  3. ""Black Frank" Taylor". Cyber Zone Boxing. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  4. "Charley Turner (the "Stockton Cyclone")". Cyber Zone Boxing. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  5. "Larry Estridge". BoxRec. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  6. "Panama Joe Gans". BoxRec. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  7. ""Panama" Joe Gans". Cyber Zone Boxing. Retrieved 24 May 2012.