Jack Blackburn

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Class of 1992
Non-Participant Category
Hall of Fame bio:click
World Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee

Name: Jack Blackburn
Birth Name: Charles Harvey Blackburn
Hometown: Versailles, Kentucky, USA
Birthplace: Versailles, Kentucky, USA
Died: 1942-04-24 (Age:59)
Height: 178cm
Pro Boxer: Record

Photo 2 - Photo 3

Jack Blackburn, a professional boxer himself, is perhaps best-known as the trainer of long-time World Heavyweight Champion Joe Louis. He had fought some of the best fighters of his era, including Joe Gans, Sam Langford and Harry Greb. He regularly fought bigger men, even heavyweights. He claimed to have had 385 fights. In a time when boxing was illegal in numerous states, many of his fights went unrecorded. Charley Rose ranked Blackburn as the third greatest lightweight of all-time.

In 1909, Blackburn was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to ten to fifteen years in prison. While in prison, Blackburn gave boxing lessons to the warden and his children. He was released on good behavior after four years and eight months. He returned to boxing upon his release.

Blackburn initially expressed skepticism about the potential of Joe Louis, believing that a black heavyweight would have few opportunities. But Blackburn agreed to train Louis nonetheless. He also trained George Godfrey, Sammy Mandell, Bud Taylor, and Jersey Joe Walcott He also trained Sailor Friedman for his welterweight title fight against Mickey Walker in 1925. He helped train Young Hockbones and Kid Mazza. Blackburn was referred to as "Old Hockbones" in an Arizona Republic newspaper article.

Blackburn's Boxing Record

The linked fight record comes from the research of Luckett Davis, using newspapers from Philadelphia and other cities.

Unverified and undated professional fights for Blackburn, as listed in the 1907 edition of the T. S. Andrews Annual Record Books:

  • 1901:
    • Kid Miller, Indianapolis, IN, W KO 8
    • Kid Robinson, D 10
  • 1902:
    • Jesse Clark, Indianapolis, IN, W KO 4
    • Kid Ash, Cincinnati, OH, W DQ 7
    • Joe Troyan, Indianapolis, IN, W KO 4
    • Bob Farming, Frankfurt, IN, W KO 17
  • 1903:
    • Kid Reynolds, Pittsburgh, W KO 2 in February

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