Name: Henry Hank
Alias: Jusuf Salaam
Birth Name: Joseph Harrison
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan, USA
Birthplace: Greenville, Mississippi, USA
Died: 2004-07-02 (Age:69)
Pro Boxer: Record
Photo 2, Photo 3
Managers: Jim Bowlin (1953-1961), Harry Baxter (1961-1970)
Henry Hank was born Joseph Harrison in Greenville, Mississippi, on February 9, 1935. He moved to Detroit with his parents when he was six years old.
When he started boxing, he took the name Henry Hank out of admiration for three-time world champion Henry Armstrong. Hank changed his name to Jusuf Salaam when he embraced Islam in 1971.
Dan Cuoco of the International Boxing Research Organization wrote: "Hank was a murderous punching middleweight with an aggressive style. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, he was considered pound-for-pound one of the hardest punchers in boxing. He was always moving forward with his right hand cocked and ready to explode, and his left hand held below his waist ready to counter. He created an air of tension and excitement whenever he entered a ring. He fought with the cold cockiness of a man who knew exactly what he could do."
Hank never fought for a world title, but he fought six former or future world champions. His record against them:
- Won against Joey Giardello (1961), Jimmy Ellis (1962)
- Lost against Virgil Akins (1954), Joey Giardello (1962), Dick Tiger (1962), Harold Johnson (1963), Bob Foster (twice, 1964 and 1965)
The Ring ranked Hank as one of the top 10 middleweight contenders from 1959 to 1961 and as one the top 10 light heavyweight contenders in 1962 and 1963.
Hank lost to Bob Foster by a ninth-round TKO in 1964. It was his only stoppage loss in 96 professional bouts.
During his boxing career, Hank worked part-time as a zookeeper at the Detroit Zoo to supplement his ring earnings. He went full-time after he retired from the ring.
On July 2, 2004, Hank died at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He was 69 years old.
Hank's son, Ali Salaam, and his grandson, Tony Harrison, also became professional boxers.