BoxRec


Harry Wills
Global ID17615
sexmale
birthdate 1889-05-15
death date 1958-12-21 (69)
divisionheavyweight
stanceorthodox
height6′ 2″   /   188cm
reach76″   /   193cm
aliasBlack Panther
country USA
residenceNew Orleans, Louisiana, USA
birth placeNew Orleans, Louisiana, USA
won 68 (KO 54) + lost 9 (KO 5) + drawn 3 = 86
rounds boxed 522
Newspaper Decisions won 19 : lost 1 : drawn 3
rounds boxed 216
Total Bouts 109 KO% 49.54
 
biography

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dateopponentW-L-Dlast 6location
1932-10-19Big John Glover
Auditorium, Atlanta, Georgia, USAWKO110
time: 1:05 | referee: Eddie Hanlon
Reported in EMD as 5th straight win for Wills
1932-08-04Vinko Jakasa5-7-1
Fort Hamilton Arena, Brooklyn, New York, USAWKO1
time: 1:20
1931-02-11Jack Rose8-8-1
Coliseum Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana, USAWKO610
referee: Jimmy Lascola
1929-12-11Andres Castano16-7-0
New York Coliseum, Bronx, New York, USAWKO310
time: 1:06
"Wills had an easy time winning his second battle since he lost to Paulino Uzcudun in 1927 at the end of his reign as the 'menace' of the heavyweights. It took him only a minute and six seconds of the third round to end the battle, slamming over a left hook to Castano's jaw for the deciding punch." (Nevada State Journal)
1929-09-14Andres Castano14-7-0
El Toreo, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, MexicoLDQ112
Mexico heavyweight title
"Wills outclassed the Spaniard in the first round, but made the serious mistake of hitting Castano on the jaw after the bell rang. Wills apparently had not heard the gong. Castano, after momentary hesitation, dropped to the canvas and then refused to proceed the bout." (Nevada State Journal)
1927-07-13Paulino Uzcudun28-2-1
Ebbet's Field, Brooklyn, New York, USALKO415
referee: Lou Magnolia
Wills was dropped to the canvas for a count of nine, and arose only to run into a volley of lefts and rights that put him under the lower rope, where he lay supported on his elbows while Referee Lou Magnolia counted him out. Uzcudun had cast aside his contract with Tex Rickard to fight Wills, after having been dropped from Rickard's heavyweight elimination tournament when Jack Dempsey refused to engage in more than one preliminary bout leading to a fight with Gene Tunney. Rickard's original plan was to match Uzcudun with Dempsey and have the winner meet the survivor of the Jack Sharkey-Jimmy Maloney bout. (AP)
1926-10-12Jack Sharkey22-5-0
Ebbet's Field, Brooklyn, New York, USALDQ1315
time: 0:43 | referee: Patsy Haley
Haley disqualified Wills for illegal use of a backhand blow. "Wills was battered about the ring from the start." (AP) Wills suspended 20 days for the foul.
1925-10-26Floyd Johnson38-11-10
1st Regiment Armory, Newark, New Jersey, USAWTKO112
time: 2:02 | referee: Harry Lewis
The bout ended abruptly when one of Johnson's handlers tossed the towel of defeat into the ring. The New Jersey Boxing Commission took no action at first and the fighters were paid. But only a day or two later it barred Johnson from New Jersey rings for life, so he retired to his ranch in the Northwest never to fight again.
1925-07-02Charley Weinert35-7-1
Polo Grounds, New York, New York, USAWKO210
1924-09-11Luis Angel Firpo28-3-0
Boyle's Thirty Acres, Jersey City, New Jersey, USAWNWS1212
referee: Danny Sullivan
1924-06-09Bartley Madden18-4-2
Queensboro Stadium, Long Island City, Queens, New York, USAWPTS1515
referee: Eddie Purdy | judge: Charles F. Mathison | judge: Billy Joh
1923-11-05Jack Thompson20-10-5
1st Regiment Armory, Newark, New Jersey, USAWTKO412
referee: Hank Lewis
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
1923-10-11Homer Smith29-11-0
Queensboro Stadium, Long Island City, Queens, New York, USAWKO210
time: 2:06
Headline: WILLS KNOCKS OUT SMITH IN 2ND ROUND "Harry Wills, the 'Brown Panther' of New Orleans . . . made short work of Homer Smith last night in a scheduled 10 round bout before a capacity crowd of 9,000 etc." Smith was knocked down seven or eight times (four or five times in the first depending on the source) before taking the full count.
1922-09-29Clem Johnson10-11-2
Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, USAWTKO12
time: 1:55
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
1922-08-29Tut Jackson37-1-2
Ebbet's Field, Brooklyn, New York, USAWKO315
time: 2:05 | referee: Claude Tibbitts
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
Jackson proved a grave disappointment. Though booked as scaling 200 pounds and measuring 6 ft 1, he proved to be but 5 ft 10 and weighed 188 lbs and didn't put up much of a fight.Chairman William Muldoon of the New York State Athletic Commission announced there would be an investigation into Jackson's actual ring record.

1922-08-21Buddy Jackson1-1-0
Broad A.C., Newark, New Jersey, USAWKO212
time: 2:14 | referee: Harry McCoy
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
1922-07-17Jeff Clark91-30-15
Amphitheatre Rink, Winnipeg, Manitoba, CanadaWKO310
referee: Mike McNulty
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
1922-06-29Jeff Clark91-29-15
Trenton, New Jersey, USAWTKO212
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
1922-03-02Kid Norfolk62-14-4
Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, USAWKO215
referee: Billy 'Kid' McPartland
1922-01-17Sam Langford140-22-32
Arena, Milwaukie, Oregon, USAWPTS1010
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
1922-01-06Bill Tate16-15-0
Arena, Milwaukie, Oregon, USADPTS1010
Both fighters claimed the Black Heavyweight title in this bout. Wills bled from a cut over his right eye from the 5th round on. Wills was knocked down for no count in the 9th from a rabbit punch.
(Both fought without pay because of that Monday night fiasco four days previous.)

1922-01-02Bill Tate15-15-0
Arena, Milwaukie, Oregon, USALDQ110
referee: Tom Louttit
Wills was disqualified for knocking Tate down after the referee's call to break; Both fighters agreed to a rematch four days later, at no cost to the fans.
Tate claims the Black Heavyweight Title.

1921-12-08Bill Tate15-14-0
Stockyards Stadium, Denver, Colorado, USAWPTS1212
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
1921-11-30Jack Thompson18-8-5
Stockyards Stadium, Denver, Colorado, USANCNC5
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim.
The referee stopped the fight without rendering a decision after Thompson fell to the floor claiming a foul had been committed. Date: Thursday, December 1, 1921 Paper: Denver Post (Denver, CO) Page: 22

1921-11-18Denver Ed Martin23-8-3
Arena, Milwaukie, Oregon, USAWKO110
time: 2:05
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim. Martin was down six times
1921-10-10Gunboat Smith52-27-10
Stadium, Havana, CubaWKO120
time: 1:07
Wills landed the only six blows of the fight, including a right to the back of Smith's head and a terrific left uppercut to the jaw that sent him to the floor where he was counted out.
1921-07-02Bill Tate15-13-0
Queensboro Stadium, Long Island City, Queens, New York, USAWTKO615
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
1921-06-04Ray Bennett1-1-0
Queensboro Stadium, Long Island City, Queens, New York, USAWKO115
time: 2:12
Bennett was floored five times before being counted out. New York Times
1921-06-03Battling Jim McCreary8-5-1
Arena, Syracuse, New York, USAWKO710
referee: Tommy Connolly
1921-05-27Andy Johnson2-4-0
Broadway Arena, Brooklyn, New York, USAWKO1
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
1921-04-08Jack Thompson18-7-5
Saint Louis, Missouri, USAWNWS88
Spokane Spokesman-Review
1921-02-11Jeff Clark89-27-15
Bob Wright's Coliseum, Highlandtown, Maryland, USAWTKO212
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim:Saturday, February 12, 1921 Paper: Sun (Baltimore, MD)
1921-01-17Bill Tate15-12-0
Broadway Auditorium, Buffalo, New York, USAWKO215
time: 1:18 | referee: Dick Nugent
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
1920-09-15Jeff Clark89-24-15
Auditorium, Atlanta, Georgia, USAWTKO410
1920-09-08Sam McVea66-13-9
Ice Palace, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USANCNC68
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
The referee stopped the bout, claiming the two were stalling. Both boxers then were barred from boxing again in Philadelphia.

1920-07-26Fred Fulton58-6-0
1st Regiment Armory, Newark, New Jersey, USAWKO312
time: 2:35
Wills broke 3 of Fulton's left ribs
1920-06-01Ray Bennett1-0-0
Armory A.A. Hall, Bridgeport, Connecticut, USAWTKO14
According to the Bridgeport Telegram 'Bennett's showing was so poor that no word adequate to describe it can be found in any language or dialect.' After the bout it was announced that Bennett would be forever banned from fighting in New England and that he would not be payed, while boxing commissioners expressed their doubts whether the man in the ring, who had gone down at the slightest provocation, had been Bennett at all. As the Telegram did not explicitly report that Wills was declared the winner, there is a chance that the result was a No Contest.
1920-04-23Sam Langford119-18-28
Stockyards Stadium, Denver, Colorado, USAWPTS1515
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
"The once mighty Sam Langford was led to an awful slaughter by Harry Wills of New Orleans at Denver Friday night. Altho the Tarbaby was not disgraced, gamely surviving four knockdowns in the first round, and by superb ring generalship lasting the fifteen-round limit. The two blacks were fighting on even terms on the finish, but the referee's decision easily went to Wills." (Evening State Journal)
Also incorrectly reported as occurring April 19.

1920-03-17Andy Johnson2-3-0
Auditorium, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USAWKO110
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
This bout lasted 42 seconds. Wills hit Johnson once and Johnson hit the floor twice. Johnson went down, got up, went down--and then stayed down. (Vancouver Daily World)

1920-01-12Jack Thompson16-4-3
Convention Hall, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USAWPTS1515
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
1920-01-01Jack Thompson16-4-3
Coliseum, San Francisco, California, USANCNC34
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
After their loudly booed perfrormance, both fighters purses were withheld by the promoters

1919-12-04Ole Anderson7-2-4
Dreamland Rink, San Francisco, California, USAWKO34
1919-11-20K O Kruvosky32-12-16
Coliseum, San Francisco, California, USAWRTD14
IBRO 53
1919-11-05Sam Langford113-17-28
Convention Hall, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USAWPTS1515
referee: Edward W. Cochrane 8-1
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim.
Wills was given rounds 1-3, 7-10 and 14; Langford - 5th round; the rest were even. (Tulsa Daily World)

1919-10-20Joe Jeannette82-10-8
4th Regiment Armory, Jersey City, New Jersey, USAWNWS88
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
Wills won the newspaper decision. (Newark Advocate) The Jersey Journal also had Wills winning and provided the weights.

1919-09-30Sam Langford113-17-27
Arena, Syracuse, New York, USAWNWS1010
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
The Syracuse Herald reported that it was a very disappointing fight and that it wasn't important 'whether Wills won or Langford won or it was a draw.' It did report that Langford's eye was closed and his mouth cut at the end, while Wills only suffered a damaged reputation.
Newspaper decision according to Boston Globe

1919-08-18Jeff Clark88-21-15
Arena, Syracuse, New York, USAWTKO410
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
1919-07-04Sam Langford112-17-26
Sportsman's Park, Saint Louis, Missouri, USAWNWS88
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
Wills won the newspaper decision. (Decatur Review)

1919-06-10John Lester Johnson15-3-0
Jersey City, New Jersey, USAWNWS88
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
Wills won the newspaper decision. (Bridgeport Standard Telegram)

1918-11-15Jack Thompson10-3-1
Atlantic City, New Jersey, USANCND88
1918-09-14Jack Thompson10-3-1
National A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USAWNWS66
Newspaper decision by Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger (Paul Zabala).
1918-08-19Jeff Clark85-12-11
Atlantic City S.C., Atlantic City, New Jersey, USAWTKO58
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
1918-06-16Sam McVea64-11-8
Vista Allegre Bull Ring, Panama City, PanamaWPTS2020
From the Panama Star & Herald. The decision given here was the referee's decision. Wills was down in round 11 and the boxing commissioner changed the decision to "draw." According to the Star & Herald, the original decision in favor of Wills was fair.
1918-05-19Sam Langford106-14-24
Vista Allegre Bull Ring, Panama City, PanamaWTKO820
Wills gave Langford an awful beating. Langford failed to answer the bell for round 8, and returned to the United States after this fight. Leaves for servicemen were cancelled after this fight, because of the war. Until 19 July 1919, fighters who appeared on boxing programs were either native Panamanians, or black boxers from the British West Indies, plus a few non-servicemen from the states, such a Sam McVea and Harry Wills.
1918-04-14Sam Langford106-13-24
Vista Allegre Bull Ring, Panama City, PanamaWKO620
Wills scored a clean knockout after giving Langford a bad beating.
1918-02-17Sam McVea64-10-8
Vista Allegre Bull Ring, Panama City, PanamaWKO620
McVey claimed a foul blow "but the referee declined to allow the claim." (Washington Post)
1917-12-16Jeff Clark85-11-11
Vista Allegre Bull Ring, Panama City, PanamaWTKO515
Wills won easily before a small crowd. From the Panama Star & Herald.
1917-11-12Sam Langford105-13-24
Coliseum, Toledo, Ohio, USADNWS1212
referee: Ollie Pecord
Langford defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
Newspaper decision from the Toledo News-Bee, which reported that the two boxers did their best not to hurt each other and that the referee should have thrown both of them out of the ring.

1917-09-20Sam Langford105-13-24
Clermont Avenue Rink, Brooklyn, New York, USAWNWS1010
Langford defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
Wills won the newspaper decision. (Warren Evening Mirror)

1917-06-01Battling Jim Johnson23-12-7
Harlem S.C., New York, New York, USAWNWS1010
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle 6/3/1917
1917-05-11Sam Langford103-12-24
Cambria A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USAWNWS66
Wills won the newspaper decision according to both the Philadelphia Record and the Philadelphia Public Ledger (Paul Zabala). A press service report (Pittsburgh Post) said that Langford and Wills hit each other with "cream-puff blows>"
1917-04-30Jack Thompson4-3-1
Vanderbilt A.C., Brooklyn, New York, USAWNWS1010
(Chicago Tribune)
1917-02-07Battling Jim Johnson22-12-7
Future City A.C., Saint Louis, Missouri, USALTKO212
"Stopping an intended right uppercut with his elbow won for Battling Jim Johnson, of New York, over Harry Wills, of New Orleans, in their clash at the Future City A.C., as the incident, which occurred in the second round, resulted in a broken wrist for the Southern negro, thereby causing his retirement at the finish of the round." (Lima Daily News)
1916-12-28Jack Thompson3-3-1
Clermont Avenue Rink, Brooklyn, New York, USAWNWS1010
According to the New York Sun, Wills easily won on points, but had two narrow escapes, once in the 5th round and twice in the 6th, when Thompson landed hard enough to almost put Harry on the canvas.
1916-11-18Jack Thompson3-2-1
Fairmont A.C., Bronx, New York, USAWKO910
The two had already been scheduled to fight a 20-rounder at the Juarez Race Track January 12 1915.
1916-11-11Bill Tate9-7-0
Clermont Avenue Rink, Brooklyn, New York, USAWNWS1010
Newspaper decision from the New York Evening Telegram (Paul Zabala)
1916-10-13George Kid Cotton8-11-1
Harlem S.C., New York, New York, USAWTKO410
The referee stopped the fight to save Cotton from further punishment.
1916-06-03George Kid Cotton8-10-1
Clermont Avenue Rink, Brooklyn, New York, USAWTKO410
Cotton quit after taking a severe beating for four rounds. NY Age 6/8/1916
1916-05-19Jeff Clark81-6-11
Louisiana Auditorium, New Orleans, Louisiana, USAWPTS2020
1916-04-25Sam Langford99-11-23
Coliseum, Saint Louis, Missouri, USAWNWS88
Langford defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
Wills won the newspaper decision. (Nevada State Journal)
Langford down in the second round.

1916-04-07John Lester Johnson12-3-0
Harlem S.C., New York, New York, USAWNWS1010
referee: Billy 'Kid' McPartland
Wills won the newspaper decision per the New York Times, and Brooklyn Eagle. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that after taking many hard blows from Wills in the first two rounds, Johnson only wanted to stay the limit.
1916-03-07Sam Langford97-11-23
Broadway Arena, Brooklyn, New York, USAWNWS1010
Wills easily won the newspaper decision, per the New York Times. Langford defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
1916-02-11Sam Langford96-11-23
Tommy Burns Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana, USALKO1920
referee: Sammy Goldman
Wills loses his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
"Sam Langford knocked out Harry Wills in the 19th round of a scheduled twenty-round go at a local arena last night. Until the knockout blow neither fighter seemed to have the advantage." (Reno Evening Gazette)
"Sam finally stopped his rival in the 19th round with a left hook to the jaw. It was the fourth knockdown Wills received." (The Gleaner)

1916-01-03Sam Langford96-10-23
Tulane A.C., New Orleans, Louisiana, USAWPTS2020
referee: Tommy Burns
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim. "...At the end Burns caught Langford's hand and said to him,"Sam, this is the hardest I ever had to do in my life. I always admired you and never thought to see you beaten, but I have to give the decision against you." Calgary Herald
1915-12-03Sam Langford96-10-23
Harlem S.C., New York, New York, USAWNWS1010
Wills easily won the newspaper decision, per the New York Times and Brooklyn Eagle
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim

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