Harry Wills

70 9 3
56 KOs 5 KOs
Box-pro
referee
division heavy
status inactive
bouts 87
rounds 521
KOs 80%
career 1911-1932
debut 1911-01-02

ID# 017615
sex male
alias Black Panther
nationality USA
stance orthodox
height 6′ 2″   /   188cm
reach 84″   /   213cm
residence New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
birth place New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
followers
14

Box-pro 111 bouts

datew-l-dlast 6result
1932-10-19 Big John Glover debut
Municipal Auditorium, Atlanta
W-KO
1:05    ref: Eddie Hanlon
The Atlanta Constitution reported this as Wills's 5th comeback win and his 3rd in recent times , having scored two prior knockouts in New York.
1932-08-04 Vinko Jakasa 5 8 1
Fort Hamilton Arena, Brooklyn
W-KO
1931-02-11 Jack Rose 3 4 1
Coliseum Arena, New Orleans
W-KO
Rose was reported as being a black fighter from Cleveland who had fought for about two years. He likely was the boxer originally from Akron.
1929-12-11 Andres Castano 16 8 0
New York Coliseum, The Bronx
W-KO
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)
1929-09-14 Andres Castano 14 8 0
El Toreo de Cuatro Caminos, Mexico City
L-DQ

"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)
1927-07-13 Paulino Uzcudun 28 2 1
Ebbets Field, Brooklyn
L-KO
1:27    ref: Lou Magnolia   Joe Hartman   George Partridge
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)
1926-10-12 Jack Sharkey 23 6 0
Ebbets Field, Brooklyn
L-DQ
0:43    ref: 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.
1925-10-26 Floyd Johnson 39 11 11
1st Regiment Armory, Newark
W-TKO
2:02    ref: 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.
1925-07-02 Charley Weinert 67 14 8
Polo Grounds, New York
W-KO
1924-09-11 Luis Angel Firpo 28 3 0
Boyle's Thirty Acres, Jersey City
W-NWS
1924-06-09 Bartley Madden 35 22 7
Queensboro Stadium, Long Island City, Queens
W-PTS
1923-11-05 Jack Thompson 21 22 6
1st Regiment Armory, Newark
W-TKO
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
1923-10-11 Homer Smith 47 24 7
Queensboro Stadium, Long Island City, Queens
W-KO
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.
1922-09-29 Clem Johnson 13 14 2
Madison Square Garden, New York
W-TKO
1:55    
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
1922-08-29 Tut Jackson 35 1 3
Ebbets Field, Brooklyn
W-KO
2:05    ref: 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.
1922-08-21 Buddy Jackson 1 2 0
Broad A.C., Newark
W-KO
2:14    ref: Harry McCoy
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
1922-07-17 Jeff Clark 126 39 21
Amphitheatre Rink, Winnipeg
W-KO
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
1922-06-30 Jeff Clark 126 38 21
Arena, Trenton
W-TKO
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
1922-03-02 Kid Norfolk 91 21 6
Madison Square Garden, New York
W-KO
1922-01-17 Sam Langford 171 35 45
Arena, Milwaukie
W-PTS
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
1922-01-06 Bill Tate 20 25 2
Arena, Milwaukie
D-PTS
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.)
1922-01-02 Bill Tate 19 25 2
Arena, Milwaukie
L-DQ
2:50    ref: 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.
1921-12-08 Bill Tate 19 24 2
Stockyards Stadium, Denver
W-PTS
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
1921-11-30 Jack Thompson 18 18 6
Stockyards Stadium, Denver
NC-NC
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.
1921-11-18 Denver Ed Martin 26 9 4
Arena, Milwaukie
W-KO
2:05    
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim. Martin was down six times
1921-11-10 Clem Johnson 11 11 2
Riverside Arena, Covington
W-TKO
1921-10-10 Gunboat Smith 81 44 14
Stadium, Havana
W-KO
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.
1921-07-02 Bill Tate 18 23 2
Queensboro Stadium, Long Island City, Queens
W-TKO
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
1921-06-04 Ray Bennett 4 2 0
Queensboro Stadium, Long Island City, Queens
W-KO
2:12    
Bennett was floored five times before being counted out. New York Times
1921-06-03 Battling Jim
McCreary
9 7 3
Arena, Syracuse
W-KO
1921-05-27 Andy Johnson 2 5 0
Broadway Arena, Brooklyn
W-KO
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
1921-04-08 Jack Thompson 18 16 6
Odeon Theater, Saint Louis
W-NWS
Newspaper decision from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
1921-02-11 Jeff Clark 124 34 20
Bob Wright's Coliseum, Highlandtown
W-TKO
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
1921-01-17 Bill Tate 18 22 2
Broadway Auditorium, Buffalo
W-KO
1:18    ref: Dick Nugent
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
1920-09-15 Jack Clark debut
Municipal Auditorium, Atlanta
W-TKO
Wills was supposed to fight Jeff Clark, but Jeff pulled out claiming an illness. A black fighter named Jack Clark was the substitute. (Atlanta Constitution)
1920-09-08 Sam McVea 76 18 12
Ice Palace, Philadelphia
NC-NC
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.
1920-07-26 Fred Fulton 60 7 1
1st Regiment Armory, Newark
W-KO
2:35    ref: Harry Ertle
Wills broke 3 of Fulton's left ribs. The finisher was a short right to the solar plexus that knocked the wind out of Fulton and a right to the jaw that deposited him on his haunches where he took the count.
1920-06-01 Ray Bennett 4 1 0
Armory A.A. Hall, Bridgeport
W-TKO
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.
1920-04-23 Sam Langford 147 29 41
Stockyards Stadium, Denver
W-PTS
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.
1920-03-17 Andy Johnson 2 4 0
Auditorium, Saint Paul
W-KO
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)
1920-01-12 Jack Thompson 17 12 4
Convention Hall, Tulsa
W-PTS
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim :Tulsa World
1920-01-01 Jack Thompson 17 12 4
Coliseum, San Francisco
NC-NC
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
After their loudly booed perfrormance, both fighters purses were withheld by the promoters
1919-12-04 Ole Anderson 7 2 4
Coliseum, San Francisco
W-TKO
1919-11-20 Edward KO Kruvosky 34 14 16
Coliseum, San Francisco
W-TKO
Petroskey's corner throws in the sponge following a knockdown
1919-11-05 Sam Langford 140 28 40
Convention Hall, Tulsa
W-PTS
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)
1919-10-20 Joe Jennette 125 19 18
4th Regiment Armory, Jersey City
W-NWS
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.
1919-09-30 Sam Langford 140 27 39
Arena, Syracuse
W-NWS
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
1919-08-18 Jeff Clark 121 27 19
Arena, Syracuse
W-TKO
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
1919-07-04 Sam Langford 138 26 38
Sportsman's Park, Saint Louis
W-NWS
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
Newspaper decision from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
1919-06-10 John Lester Johnson 21 13 4
Jersey City
W-NWS
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
Wills won the newspaper decision. (Bridgeport Standard Telegram)
1918-11-15 Jack Thompson 11 11 1
Atlantic City S.C., Atlantic City
D-NWS
Philadelphia Public Ledger
1918-09-14 Jack Thompson 11 10 1
National A.C., Philadelphia
W-NWS
Newspaper decision by Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger (Paul Zabala).
1918-08-19 Jeff Clark 115 17 15
Atlantic City S.C., Atlantic City
W-TKO
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
1918-06-16 Sam McVea 74 15 11
Plaza de Toros Vista Alegre, Panama City
W-PTS
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.

1918-05-19 Sam Langford 129 22 36
Plaza de Toros Vista Alegre, Panama City
W-TKO
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.
1918-04-14 Sam Langford 129 21 36
Plaza de Toros Vista Alegre, Panama City
W-KO
Wills scored a clean knockout after giving Langford a bad beating.
1918-02-17 Sam McVea 74 14 11
Plaza de Toros Vista Alegre, Panama City
W-KO
McVey claimed a foul blow "but the referee declined to allow the claim." (Washington Post)
1917-12-16 Jeff Clark 115 16 15
Plaza de Toros Vista Alegre, Panama City
W-TKO
Wills won easily before a small crowd. From the Panama Star & Herald.
1917-11-12 Sam Langford 128 21 35
Coliseum, Toledo
D-NWS
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.
1917-09-20 Sam Langford 128 20 35
Clermont Avenue Rink, Brooklyn
W-NWS
Langford defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
Wills won the newspaper decision. (Warren Evening Mirror)
1917-06-01 Battling Jim
Johnson
35 27 12
Harlem S.C., New York
W-NWS
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle 6/3/1917
1917-05-11 Sam Langford 125 18 35
Cambria A.C., Philadelphia
W-NWS
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>"
1917-04-30 Jack Thompson 4 6 1
Vanderbilt A.C., Brooklyn
W-NWS
(NY Sun)
1917-02-07 Battling Jim
Johnson
34 27 12
Future City A.C., Saint Louis
L-TKO
"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)
1916-12-28 Jack Thompson 3 4 1
Clermont Avenue Rink, Brooklyn
W-NWS
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.
1916-11-18 Jack Thompson 3 3 1
Fairmont A.C., The Bronx
W-KO
The two had already been scheduled to fight a 20-rounder at the Juarez Race Track January 12 1915.
1916-11-11 Bill Tate 11 13 1
Clermont Avenue Rink, Brooklyn
W-NWS
Newspaper decision from the New York Evening Telegram (Paul Zabala)
1916-10-13 George Kid Cotton 13 18 2
Harlem S.C., New York
W-TKO
The referee stopped the fight to save Cotton from further punishment.
1916-06-03 George Kid Cotton 13 17 2
Clermont Avenue Rink, Brooklyn
W-TKO
Cotton quit after taking a severe beating for four rounds. NY Age 6/8/1916
1916-05-19 Jeff Clark 111 11 15
Louisiana Auditorium, New Orleans
W-PTS
1916-04-25 Sam Langford 118 16 32
Coliseum, Saint Louis
W-NWS
Langford defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
Newspaper decision from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Langford down in the second round.
1916-04-07 John Lester Johnson 16 9 3
Harlem S.C., New York
W-NWS
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.
1916-03-07 Sam Langford 115 15 32
Broadway Arena, Brooklyn
W-NWS
Wills easily won the newspaper decision, per the New York Times. Langford defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
1916-02-11 Sam Langford 112 15 32
Tommy Burns Arena, New Orleans
L-KO
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)
1916-01-03 Sam Langford 112 14 32
Tulane A.C., New Orleans
W-PTS
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim. "...At the end referee Tommy Burns caught Langford's hand and said to him, "Sam, this is the hardest thing 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
1915-12-03 Sam Langford 112 13 32
Harlem S.C., New York
W-NWS
Wills easily won the newspaper decision, per the New York Times and Brooklyn Eagle
Wills defends his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
1915-09-07 Sam McVea 64 10 6
Atlas A.A., Boston
W-PTS
McVey loses his World 'colored' heavyweight title claim
1915-07-05 Battling Jim
Johnson
31 21 9
Sacandaga Park, Gloversville
W-NWS
"The big fellows did not show anything interesting and failed to arouse much enthusiasm among the spectators. Wills had the better of the go." Amsterdam Evening Recorder
1915-05-19 Sam McVea 60 10 6
St. Nicholas Arena, New York
L-NWS
"For heavyweights the men fought hard and fast throughout, McVey taking every round but the second. In the fourth a left jab cut Wills' right eye, which troubled him in the remaining rounds. Wills took a count of nine in the ninth round after receiving a left to the body and a left hook to the jaw." (Lincoln Daily Star)
1915-03-12 John Lester Johnson 8 7 3
Tommy Burns Arena, New Orleans
W-PTS
Wills did not fight Battling Jim Johnson on this date, as previously shown here. This fight is from the New Orleans Times-Picayune (Jack Kincaid).
1914-12-20 Sam McVea 58 10 5
McDonoghville Park, New Orleans
L-PTS
1914-11-26 Sam Langford 107 11 30
Arena, Vernon
L-KO
"With a left swing to the jaw, Sam Langford of Boston knocked out Harry Wills, the giant New Orleans negro, in the fourteenth round of a scheduled twenty-round fight this afternoon at Vernon. Both men were knocked down repeatedly, Langford himself taking the count four times in the first two rounds. Langford early in the fight hurt his left ankle as he fell to the mat in a vicious breakaway. Wills' effective straight-arm drives gave him an apparent even break in most of the rounds, but Langford fought with a superior knowledge of the game that gradually wore out Wills. As the soreness left Langford's injured ankle, his footwork improved and the twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth rounds showed Langford winning. His speed, judgment and force then enabled him to play with Wills. The final swing was delivered after a torrent of blows had left Wills staggering." (Indianapolis Star)
Langford defends world 'colored' heavyweight title claim.
1914-10-30 Jim Cameron 13 11 2
Dreamland Rink, San Francisco
W-PTS
1914-10-16 Charlie Horn 19 5 3
Dreamland Rink, San Francisco
W-KO
1914-10-09 Sailor Grande 16 6 7
Dreamland Rink, San Francisco
W-PTS
1914-09-18 Charlie Miller 20 10 11
Dreamland Rink, San Francisco
W-KO
1914-09-04 Willie Meehan 44 10 30
Dreamland Rink, San Francisco
W-PTS
1914-08-21 Battling Brandt 0 4 0
Pavilion Rink, San Francisco
W-TKO
1914-08-02 Mexican Pete
Everett
28 22 2
Sonora
W-KO
1914-07-04 Soldier Elder 10 3 4
El Paso
W-KO
1914-06-09 Joe Jennette 87 16 14
National Baseball Park, New Orleans
D-NWS
A draw from New Orleans Times-Picayune, New York Evening World. Newspaper decision for Wills from New Orleans Item, AP.
1914-05-01 Sam Langford 100 10 27
National Baseball Park, New Orleans
D-NWS
Newspaper decision for Langford from Will Hamilton (New Orleans Item). Newspaper decision for Wills from New Orleans Times-Democrat and The Daily Picayune, INS (Wills won 7 rounds). A draw from Pawtucket (RI) Evening Times ("fought 10 rounds to a draw last night before the largest crowd seen here in years").
Langford defends world 'colored' heavyweight title claim.
1914-02-07 Rough House Ware 1 2 3
New Orleans
W-KO
Date uncertain
1914-01-08 George Kid Cotton 10 11 2
Northside A.C., New Orleans
W-KO
From the New Orleans Times-Picayune (Herb Goldman).
1913-12-09 Jimmy Sullivan debut
Northside A.C., New Orleans
W-KO
1913-10-03 George Kid Cotton 9 10 1
Pelican Stadium, New Orleans
W-KO
Reported in the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
1913-07-01 Joe Jennette 79 15 13
Northside A.C., New Orleans
D-PTS
1913-06-18 Jeff Clark 86 8 10
New Orleans
D-PTS
1913-02-02 Kid Brown 0 2 0
New Orleans
W-KO
Exact date unknown.
1913-01-01 Jack Graves debut
NC-ND
Date and location of this fight unknown.
111 bouts  •  page
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