When the Heavyweight Title Mattered

Five Championship Fights That Captivated the World, 1910–1971


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SKU: 9781476678573 Categories: ,

About the Book

The world heavyweight boxing championship once transcended the sport, conferring global renown. This book gives detailed coverage to five legendary championship bouts that captivated audiences worldwide.

Coaxed out of retirement by the press, former champ James J. Jeffries challenged black titleholder Jack Johnson—universally despised by white audiences—in 1910, in hopes of returning the title to the white race.

In 1921, dapper World War I hero and light-heavyweight champion Georges Carpentier hoped to upset heavyweight champ Jack Dempsey, widely considered a draft-dodger, in a fight that garnered the first “million dollar gate.”

In perhaps the most politically charged bout ever, “Brown Bomber” Joe Louis, popular with both white and black America, faced Nazi Germany’s Max Schmeling—the first ever to win the title by disqualification—at a sold-out Yankee stadium in 1938.

A relentless brawler, undefeated Rocky Marciano in 1952 sought to bludgeon the title away from the more experienced and savvier Joe Walcott, at 38 the oldest heavyweight champ in history.

In a monumental clash of two undefeated world champions, Muhammad Ali—on the comeback trail after his title was stripped from him for refusing to be drafted during the Vietnam War—squared off with titleholder Joe Frazier in 1971.

About the Author(s)

John G. Robertson is a private tutor and sports historian who lives in Cambridge, Ontario. He is the author of numerous books on baseball, hockey and boxing history.

Bibliographic Details

John G. Robertson
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 223
Bibliographic Info: 52 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7857-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3731-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Introduction 1
July 4, 1910—James J. Jeffries vs. Jack Johnson:
Reckoning Time in Reno 5
July 2, 1921—Georges Carpentier vs. Jack Dempsey:
Gallic Flair and American Fury 52
June 22, 1938—Max Schmeling vs. Joe Louis:
Nazi Germany Faces America’s Champ 100
September 23, 1952—Rocky Marciano vs. Jersey Joe
Walcott: One Devastating Punch 135
March 8, 1971—Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier:
The Fight of the Century 165
Afterword 201
Chapter Notes 203
Bibliography 209
Index 211