Toy Bulldog

The Fighting Life and Times of Mickey Walker


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About the Book

This is a cradle-to-grave biography of Mickey Walker, former welterweight (1922–1926) and middleweight champion (1926–1931) of the world, one of the greatest fighters in ring history. He fought at a time when boxing was a major sport with only eight championships, and he held two of them over a nine-year period. He fought at a time when each weight division was jammed with good fighters, and he fought them all from welterweight up to heavyweight, frequently being outweighed 20 to 30 pounds. Walker was also a great personality who loved life and lived it to the fullest. He was married seven times to four different women, and he cavorted with movie stars and mobsters. When his boxing career ended in 1935, Walker ran saloons in various locations and eventually became an artist of some standing. He died in 1981 at age 79.

About the Author(s)

John Jarrett has been writing about boxing since 1951 and has been the Northern Area Secretary to the British Boxing Board of Control since 1978. He lives in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Bibliographic Details

John Jarrett

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 248
Bibliographic Info: 20 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7040-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0134-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
1. A Born Fighter 3
2. “You Need a Manager, Son” 8
3. Contender 14
4. Champion 24
5. Mickey and Marriage—Part One 33
6. Double Tragedy Hits Champ 41
7. Bootleg Booze and Boxing 48
8. Hollywood and Doc Kearns 53
9. One (or Two) Fights with Harry Greb 59
10. A Favor for Al Capone 69
11. A Shade Too Close 74
12. Backwoods to Broadway 81
13. ­Ex-­Champ 90
14. “And New Middleweight Champion!” 98
15. Adventures Abroad 107
16. Death of the Tiger 114
17. Taming the Wildcat 120
18. Big Night in Chicago 127
19. Marriage, the Mob, and Mayhem in Louisville 136
20. Mickey the Giant Killer 148
21. Half a Heavyweight Champion 157
22. Schmeling—A Fight Too Far 166
23. Rock Bottom—Losing Liz and Doc 180
24. The End of the Road 190
25. Working on Canvas Again, and the Last Wedding 200
Epilogue 209
Chapter Notes 213
Bibliography 225
Index 229

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “A well-researched and well-written interesting read”—East Side Boxing