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Boston's Boxing Heritage: Prizefighting from 1882 to 1955

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2003

    One glaring omission from book

    While I enjoyed looking at the pictures and related captions, the book lacks an index and serious historical contents. It behooves me as to why or how could Kevin Smith the boxing historian not include the famous Matty Baldwin, the 'Bearcat from Charlestown'? Rocky Marciano himself once told me that Matty Baldwin was very well known in Boston. As a youth in Boston and leaving near Boston Garden, I visited Jack Sharkey's bar where I witnessed large photos of John L. Sullivan and Matty Baldwin! Incidentally, my grandfather was Matty's brother and he told me prizefighting stories. Matty Baldwin fought more than 275 bouts as a marquee boxer, winning most of them. He fought against such featherweight and lightweight champs like Ritchie, Cross, Moran, and Atell from 1903 to about 1916. Mecca Cigarettes featured Matty in 1910, which I am a proud owner. Certainly as a biased, but justified reviewer, the omission of Matty Baldwin and perhaps other worthy prizefighters garnered Mr. Kevin Smith only two stars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2002

    Editor's Note

    Boston's Boxing Heritage: Prizefighting from 1882-1955 chronicles the rich history of prizefighting in Boston and the many characters that made "The Hub City" the home of champions. It is not only a pictorial history of the sport in Boston, but a tale of heroes and villains, of gangsters and mobsters, contenders and bums, trainers and newspapermen, straight-men and cheats. It is a saga of ethnicity and race, of color barriers broken and neighborhood rivalries settled and re-kindled. But at its core this story is truly about a city and its relationship with a sport. The Prizefighters of Boston covers the early bare-knuckle years of boxing through the sport's Post World War II boom. When Boston's John L. Sullivan won the Heavyweight crown from Paddy Ryan in 1882 he took prizefighting from an illegal, red light district pastime to the country's most popular sport and in essence put "Beantown" on the sporting map. For the next 60 years Boston would remain one of the elite cities in the boxing world spawning ring immortals such as George "Little Chocolate" Dixon, Joe "The Barbados Demon" Wolcott, William "Honey" Mellody, Rocky Marciano, Jack Sharkey "The Boston Gob" and Sam "The Boston Tar Baby" Langford. Kevin Smith, a boxing historian, editor and researcher for the Cyber Boxing Zone, member of the International Boxing Research Organization and the Founder of the Historical Society for Black Prizefighters brings us the fascinating story of Boston's Boxing Heritage: Prizefighting from 1882-1955 through hundreds of rare photographs and detailed captions. Whether you are a boxing fan or not, you will find the images of these brave gladiators and their stories hard to forget.

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