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A "journeyman" is a boxer who has little or no expectation of winning his fights, thus he is said to be "along for the journey". They are generally competent boxers who possess solid boxing skills and/or the ability to absorb punishment. Often they were aspiring novices or even prospects, but were defeated and found to have limitations which relegated them to the role of journeyman.

Notable Successful Journeymen

There have been boxers who were considered journeyman, who have gone to have professional success in boxing, and captured world championships. Notable examples include:

  • Jim Braddock - A former #1 ranked Light Heavyweight conteder, he had been relegated to journeyman status shortly before propelling himself to winning the Heavyweight title from Max Baer.
  • Freddie Pendleton - overcame a .500 record early in his career to become a Lightweight title holder in the early 1990s.
  • Teddy (Redtop) Davis - a former sparring partner for Willie Pep, he emerged as a top contender during the mid-1950s, and earned a title shot against Featherweight champion Sandy Saddler in 1955. At the time of the bout, he entered with a record of 62-50-5, which is the worst record in terms of losses of any challenger for a major world title.
  • Emanuel Augustus.

World Champions on the Backside of a Career

Several world champions and top contenders have also become journeyman as their skills eroded and age caught up with them, Sugar Ray Robinson being a notable example during the last years of his career in the 1960s.

Other outstanding boxers who continued on as journeyman, include: Joe Brown, Fritzie Zivic, and Iran Barkley.

Typical Journeymen

The majority of journeymen, however, only briefly become contenders or find themselves the frequent foe of them. The mark of a good journeyman though, is the knowledge that on a good night he can beat a boxer who either isn't what he was billed as, or is having an "off" night. Examples of boxers who could be defined as journeymen include: