Boston's Boxing Heritage: Prizefighting from 1882 to 1955
- By Kevin Smith
- ISBN 9780738511368
- Format: Softcover, 129 pp.
- Pub. Date: 2002
- Publisher: Arcardia Book Publishing
Publisher's Summary: Boston's Boxing Heritage: Prizefighting from 1882 to 1955 chronicles the rich history of prizefighting in Boston and the many characters that made the Hub city the home of champions. It is not only a pictorial history of the sport but also a tale of heroes and villains, gangsters and mobsters, contenders and bums, trainers and newspapermen, straight men and cheats. It is a saga of ethnicity and race, of color barriers broken and neighborhood rivalries settled and rekindled. At its core this story is truly about a city and its relationship with a sport. Boston's Boxing Heritage: Prizefighting from 1882 to 1955 covers the early bareknuckle years of boxing through the sport's post-World War II boom. When Boston's John L. Sullivan won the heavyweight crown from Paddy Ryan in 1882, he took prizefighting from an illegal, red-light district pastime to the country's most popular sport and in essence put Bean Town on the sporting map. For the next sixty years, Boston remained one of the elite cities in the boxing world spawning ring immortals such as George "Little Chocolate" Dixon, Joe "the Barbados Demon" Wolcott, William "Honey" Mellody, Rocky Marciano, Jack "the Boston Gob" Sharkey, and Sam "the Boston Tar Baby" Langford.