Jackie Graves

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Name: Jackie Graves
Alias: The Austin Atom
Birth Name: John Thomas Graves
Hometown: Austin, Minnesota, USA
Birthplace: Austin, Minnesota, USA
Died: 2005-11-15 (Age:83)
Stance: Southpaw
Height: 171cm
Reach: 165cm
Pro Boxer: Record
Amateur Boxer: Record

Jackie Graves was once rated as high as the #2 Featherweight in the world behind Willie Pep in 1946.

He later fought Pep in Minneapolis, July 25, 1946, in which he dropped his opponent twice in the sixth round before succumbing to the non-stop assault of the champ in the ninth round. Pep later stated: "Graves was the hardest puncher I ever faced."

It was later said that this was the fight where Pep won the third round without ever throwing a punch--something Graves himself denied his whole life. Graves was correct, as it was later disproved by well-known historian Jake Wegner in 2003, as Wegner showed evidence that both the Minneapolis and St. Paul newspapers, as well as dozens of living eye-witnesses, testified that Pep did indeed throw several punches in the historic third round, making the long-standing "punchless 3rd round of Pep" nothing more than a fable.

Graves died of complications from Alzheimer's Disease.


John T. "Jackie" Graves, age 83, of Austin, died Tuesday evening, Nov. 15, 2005, at Good Samaritan Center, Albert Lea, Minn. He was born Sept. 12, 1922, in Austin to Charles and Mary (Gallagher) Graves.

A professional boxer, Jackie lived in Austin his entire life. He loved boxing, people and enjoyed playing the harmonica.

Survivors include a son, Danny (Claudia) Graves, Spokane, Wash.; three grandchildren: Dionna, Garrett and Wendy; five great grandchildren; two brothers: Harold (Mary) Graves, Brainerd, Minn.; George Graves, Austin, Minn.; two sisters: Clela (Gordon) Braastad, Long Prairie, Minn.; Donna (Elmer) Mullenbach, Adams, Minn.; nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Mary Graves; sisters: Helen, Irene, Viola, Doris, Darlene, Mary and Judy; brothers: Clarence and James. Buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Austin, MN.

  • 1941 Northwest Golden Gloves Bantamweight Champion
  • 1942 Northwest Golden Gloves Bantamweight Champion
  • 1942 won the Chicago Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions at bantamweight by decision over Charley Riley.
  • 1942 Intercity Golden Gloves Bantamweight Champion by decision over Al Turner.
  • 1943 Northwest Golden Gloves Featherweight Champion
  • 1943 Won an Intercity Golden Gloves title at featherweight by decision over William Palou.
  • 1946 ranked #2 by The Ring Magazine in the featherweight division.
  • 1948 ranked # 3 by The Ring Magazine in the featherweight division.

Preceded by:
Dick Menchaca
Chicago Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions
Bantamweight Champion

Succeeded by:
Earl O'Neil
Preceded by:
Dick Menchaca
Intercity Golden Gloves
Bantamweight Champion

Succeeded by:
Leroy Jackson
Preceded by:
Victor Resto
Intercity Golden Gloves
Featherweight Title

Succeeded by:
Manny Ortega

See also:
CBZ Interview: [1]
ESPN Sports Article: [2]
"Jackie Graves" by Jake Wegner
"Willie Pep vs. Jackie Graves" by Jake Wegner
"Jackie Graves Remembered" by Jake Wegner
Pro Record