Jess Willard: Heavyweight Champion of the World (1915–1919)
Arly Allen with the assistance of James Willard Mace
Foreword by Tracy Callis
Jess Willard, the “Pottawatomie Giant,” won the heavyweight title in 1915 with his defeat of Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion. At 6 feet, 6 inches and 240 pounds, Willard was considered unbeatable in his day. He nonetheless lost to Jack Dempsey in 1919 in one of the most brutally one-sided contests in fistic history. Willard later made an initially successful comeback but was defeated by Luis Firpo in 1923 and retired from the ring. He died in 1968, largely forgotten by the boxing public. Featuring photographs from the Willard family archives, this first full-length biography provides a detailed portrait of one of America’s boxing greats.