Battling Nelson, the Durable Dane

World Lightweight Champion, 1882–1954


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About the Book

Oscar “Battling” Nelson (1882–1954) was perhaps the toughest professional boxer ever to enter the ring. Although a Hall of Fame inductee, Nelson remains a lesser known great of boxing lore. From the beginning of his career at 14, the Danish immigrant presented himself as a man of integrity who never smoked, drank or took a dive.
In the ring and in public, Battling Nelson crafted a Renaissance man image as a lightweight champion, reporter, entertainer, real estate mogul, entrepreneur and ladies’ man. The first ever champion in his weight class to mount a comeback, he strove to break new ground (even if he wasn’t always successful).
This book tells the story of a ring legend whose endurance was second to none and whose trilogy with Joe Gans is one of the great rivalries in sports history.

About the Author(s)

Mark Allen Baker is a former business executive, author, historian, and writer of hundreds of articles and 19 books. He holds the distinction of being the only person to serve the International Boxing Hall of Fame as an author, historian, chairperson, sponsor, volunteer and biographer. He lives in Hebron, Connecticut.

Bibliographic Details

Mark Allen Baker
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 296
Bibliographic Info: 66 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6372-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2625-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments viii

Preface 1

One—1882–1899: From Copenhagen to Hegewisch 3

Two—1900–1903: Making Headlines 20

Three—1904: Positioning for the Title 40

Four—1905: Five Memorable Lightweights 55

Five—1906: McGovern and the Fight of the Century I 76

Six—1907: Repositioning for the Ascent 102

Seven—July 4, 1908: The Fight of the Century II 117

Eight—September 9, 1908: The Fight of the Century III 128

Nine—1909: Retaining the Title 142

Ten—February 2, 1910: A Disappointing Loss 162

Eleven—1911–1912: Mounting a Comeback 188

Twelve—1913: Fay and a Final Descent 202

Thirteen—1914–1917: At Long Last, Freddie Welsh 213

Fourteen—1918–1954: The Final Rounds 234

Appendix: Records 255

Chapter Notes 262

Bibliography 279

Index 281