Eddie Booker

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Eddie Booker
Class of 2017
Old Timer Category
Hall of Fame bio: [1]
World Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee

Name: Eddie Booker
Alias: Black Dynamite
Birth Name: Hilton Edward Booker
Hometown: San Jose, California, USA
Birthplace: Alto, Texas, USA
Died: 1975-01-26 (Age:57)
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 175cm
Reach: 185cm
Pro Boxer: Record

Division: Middleweight
Trainer: John Burdick
Managers: John Burdick, Frank Schuler (1941)


Eddie Booker is another of the often-ignored black fighters that campaigned in the United States during the 1930s and 40s. A slick boxing, defensive stylist with decent power in both hands--particularly his left hook-- Booker beat some of the better fighters of his time.

An accomplished, title-winning amateur around his adopted home town of San Jose, Booker was popular with the fans from the minute he turned professional under the management of local boxing guru John Burdick. Although his pilot was often criticised for being far too selective when considering opponents for his charge, Booker did his part by defeating most of the men put in front of him.

With a well-developed and muscular physique, Booker had the strength and ability to 'mix-it-up' when the chips were down and was happy to either fight or box; he genuinely loved to be in the ring. Compared by some to heavyweight great Jack Johnson, in regards to his ability to catch a punch and deliver a blow in the same motion with the same hand, Booker was a methodical, conservative workman who used his mind along with his fists.

Booker was unbeaten in his first 44 bouts, then lost back-to-back decisions to Fritzie Zivic and Cocoa Kid. He rebounded with a string of knockout victories before taking time out during 1940 due to badly damaged hands.

Victories against some of the better west coast battlers--such as the Hogue twins, Bobby Birch, and Lloyd Marshall--earned Booker a world ranking and a crack at the California State middleweight title, which he lost over 15 close fought rounds to the brilliant Jack Chase. A match with the legendary Charley Burley never materialised, with Booker confessing to a sparring partner that the Burley was "Just about the best there is out there."

In his last year as a professional fighter--despite rapidly deteriorating eyesight--Booker scored knockouts over Paul Hartnek (a heavyweight) and Archie Moore. A points victory over classy Holman Williams wrapped up a nine-year, 83-fight career for the unheralded and long-forgotten Booker.

Considered a perfect gentleman in and out of the ring, Booker was not only the tragic victim of racism in boxing, but also of the seedier, slimy underbelly of the professional fight game. An incident in the ring involving a doctored pair of gloves led to terrible eye injuries that just would not heal. Booker lived his remaining years blind. He was later inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame.