The Fearless Harry Greb

Biography of a Tragic Hero of Boxing


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SKU: 9780786440160 Categories: , Tags: , , ,

About the Book

The legendary Harry Greb stepped into the ring more than 300 times from 1913 to 1926, defeated opponents who outweighed him by more than 30 pounds, held the middleweight and light heavyweight titles and beat every Hall of Fame boxer he ever fought. Dubbed “the Pittsburgh Windmill” because of his manic, freewheeling style in the ring, Greb also crossed racial lines, taking on all comers regardless of color. An injury in the ring led to Greb’s gradually going blind in one eye and should have ended his career, but he kept his condition secret and fought on. Tragically, the indomitable fighter would be dead by the age of 32, felled by complications during minor surgery. This biography of one of the toughest boxers of all time includes interviews, family recollections, modern doctors’ analyses of Greb’s eye injury and more than 120 rare photographs, as well as a complete fight record and round-by-round descriptions of his most famous fights.

About the Author(s)

Bill Paxton is a toy and game inventor in Chicago. He operates the Harry Greb Web site at

Bibliographic Details

Bill Paxton

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 260
Bibliographic Info: 124 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4016-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1383-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi
Preface      1

1. From a Street Corner to a Ring Corner      5
2. The Early Road of Trials      16
3. Icky’s Busy Year      32
4. In the Navy      45
5. First Year of Marriage and the #45      60
6. Jack Dempsey and the Heavyweights      74
7. A Time for Change      89
8. A City Celebrates      105
9. All Good Things      116
10. Achieving the Goal—The Middleweight Championship      131
11. Defending the Title      144
12. The Tunney Rematches      159
13. The Champion Playboy      171
14. The Bulldog Meets the Windmill      179
15. The Best of His Time      189
16. The Tragic Hero      200
17. The Myths Grow While the Legend Fades      216

Appendix A: Greb’s Complete Fight Record      227
Appendix B: 1923 Middleweight Championship Body Measurements      235
Chapter Notes      237
Bibliography      247
Index      249

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Fans of boxing’s great middleweight, Harry Greb, are in for a treat…detailed…Paxton’s work will rekindle the reader’s interest in the exploits of Fearless Harry…masterfully written…well researched…interesting read…abundance of photographs…highly recommend”—Cyber Boxing Zone
  • “The most noteworthy [book about Greb’s life]…Paxton has researched Greb’s story in immense detail”—Ringside Seat
  • “Paxton knows his subject so well that he is able to dispel most of the myths and still tell an engrossing story”—Dublin’s Evening Herald
  • “There may not be a huge audience out there for a biography of Harry Greb, but Bill Paxton has put together a good one”—The Ring
  • “The author deserves credit for the massive amount of research that went into his work”—