Jersey Joe Walcott

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Jersey Joe Walcott
Jersey Joe Wolcott Robert Culp Cains Hundred 1962.JPG
Walcott with Robert Culp in Cain's Hundred, 1962.
Statistics
Real nameArnold Raymond Cream
Nickname(s)Jersey Joe
Rated atHeavyweight
Height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Reach74 in (188 cm)
NationalityAmerican
Born(1914-01-31)January 31, 1914
Merchantvillle, New Jersey
DiedFebruary 25, 1994(1994-02-25) (aged 80)
Camden, New Jersey
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights71
Wins51
Wins by KO32
Losses18
Draws2
No contests0
 
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Jersey Joe Walcott
Jersey Joe Wolcott Robert Culp Cains Hundred 1962.JPG
Walcott with Robert Culp in Cain's Hundred, 1962.
Statistics
Real nameArnold Raymond Cream
Nickname(s)Jersey Joe
Rated atHeavyweight
Height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Reach74 in (188 cm)
NationalityAmerican
Born(1914-01-31)January 31, 1914
Merchantvillle, New Jersey
DiedFebruary 25, 1994(1994-02-25) (aged 80)
Camden, New Jersey
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights71
Wins51
Wins by KO32
Losses18
Draws2
No contests0

Arnold Raymond Cream (January 31, 1914 – February 25, 1994), better known as Jersey Joe Walcott, was a world heavyweight boxing champion. He broke the world's record for the oldest man to win the world's heavyweight title when he earned it at the age of 37 years, 168 days. That record would eventually be broken on November 5, 1994, by 45 year old George Foreman, who defeated the 26 year old Heavyweight champion of the world Michael Moorer, to win the WBA and IBF heavyweight titles.

Background[edit]

Walcott was born in Pennsauken, New Jersey. His father was an immigrant from St. Thomas, Danish West Indies. His mother was from Jordantown, New Jersey. Walcott was only 15 years old when his father died. He quit school and worked in a soup factory to support his mother and 11 younger brothers and sisters. He also began training as a boxer. He took the name of his boxing idol, Joe Walcott, a welterweight champion from Barbados. He added "Jersey" to distinguish himself and show where he was from.

Boxing career[edit]

He debuted as a professional boxer on September 9, 1930, fighting Cowboy Wallace and winning by a knockout in round one. After five straight knockout wins, in 1933, he lost for the first time, beaten on points by Henry Wilson in Philadelphia.

He built a record of 45 wins, 11 losses and 1 draw before challenging for the world title for the first time. Walcott lost early bouts against world-class competition. He lost a pair of fights to Tiger Jack Fox and was knocked out by contender Abe Simon. But that would change in 1945 when Walcott beat top heavyweights such as Joe Baksi, Lee Q. Murray, Curtis Sheppard and Jimmy Bivins. He closed out 1946 with a pair of losses to former light heavyweight champ Joey Maxim and heavyweight contender Elmer Ray, but promptly avenged those defeats in 1947.

On December 5, 1947, he fought Joe Louis, at thirty three years of age breaking the record as the oldest man to fight for the world heavyweight title. Despite dropping Louis in round one, and once again in round four, he lost a 15 round split decision. Most ringside observers and boxing writers felt Walcott deserved the win, and so there was a rematch on June 25, 1948, when Louis prevailed once again, this time by a knockout in round 11.

June 22 of 1949, Walcott got another chance to become world heavyweight champion, when he and Ezzard Charles met for the title left vacant by Louis. However, Charles prevailed, winning by decision in 15 rounds. Walcott, disappointed but eager to see his dream of being a champion come true, went on, and in 1950, he won four of his five bouts, including a three round knock-out of future world light heavyweight champion Harold Johnson.

On March 7, 1951, he and Charles fought for a second time and once again Charles won a 15 round decision to retain his world title. But on July 18, he joined a handful of boxers who claimed the world title in their fifth try, when he knocked out Charles in seven rounds in Pittsburgh, to finally become world's heavyweight champion, at the relatively old age of 37.[1] This made him the oldest man ever to win the world heavyweight crown (a distinction he would hold until George Foreman won the title at age 45 in 1994).

Walcott retained the title with a 15 round decision victory against arch-enemy Charles. On September 23, 1952, he defended his title for the second time. His opponent was the undefeated Rocky Marciano. In the first round Marciano was knocked down with a left hook for the first time in his career. Walcott was clearly ahead in the scoring and Marciano needed a knockout to win, according to two of the three official scorecards. In the thirteenth round with Marciano pressuring Walcott against the ropes, both threw simultaneous right hands. Marciano landed his punch first on Walcott´s jaw in what is considered one of the hardest punches thrown in boxing history. Walcott collapsed with his arm hanging over the ropes then fell to the canvas where he was counted out. There was a rematch in Chicago, on May 15, 1953, and the second time around, Walcott was again defeated by Marciano by a knockout in the first round.

Post boxing[edit]

Arnold "Jersey Joe Walcott" Cream[2][3]
Sheriff of Camden County, New Jersey
In office
1971[3] – 1974[3]
Preceded byMartin Segal[3]
Succeeded byJoseph W. Coyle[3]
Personal details
Born(1914-01-31)January 31, 1914
Merchantvillle, New Jersey
DiedFebruary 25, 1994(1994-02-25) (aged 80)
Camden, New Jersey
Resting placeSunset Memorial Park Cemetery
Pennsauken, New Jersey
NationalityAmerican
Political partyDemocratic
ResidenceCamden, New Jersey
OccupationBoxer

He did not go away from the celebrity scene after boxing. In 1956, he co-starred with Humphrey Bogart and Max Baer in the boxing drama The Harder They Fall. In 1963, he tried professional wrestling, losing to Lou Thesz. Thesz pinned Walcott in the fifth round, but has stated that Walcott knocked him (Thesz) down and most likely out in that fifth round. As he fell to the floor, he relied on instinct, grabbing Walcotts knees, taking him down with him and stretching him out for the pin.

In 1965, he refereed the controversial world heavyweight championship bout between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston. Walcott lost the count as Ali circled around a floored Liston and Walcott tried to get him back to a neutral corner. Then Walcott looked outside the ring (presumably to the ringside count keeper) as Ali and Liston went at each other before Walcott instructed them to keep on fighting, then Walcott approached the fighters and abruptly stopped the fight. Walcott would never be appointed as a referee after this bout. It should be said, however, that most of the controversy surrounding this fight had nothing to do with Walcott, as this was the famous fight with the "phantom punch".

Political career[edit]

After retiring, Walcott worked for the Camden County corrections department.[4] In 1968, he ran for Sheriff of Camden County, but lost in the Democratic primary to Spencer H. Smith, Jr.[2][5] That same year he was named director of community relations for Camden.[4]

In 1971 he once again ran for Camden County Sheriff. He defeated Republican William Strang in the general election.[4] He was the first African-American to serve as Sheriff in Camden County.[6]

He served as chairman of the New Jersey State Athletic Commission from 1975 until 1984, when he stepped down at the mandatory retirement age of 70. Walcott was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York.

Professional boxing record[edit]

51 Wins (32 knockouts, 19 decisions), 18 Losses (6 knockouts, 12 decision), 2 Draws [1]
Res.RecordOpponentTypeRoundDateLocationNotes
Loss51-18-2United States Rocky MarcianoKO1 (15)15/05/1953United States Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, United StatesFor World Heavyweight title.
Loss51-17-2United States Rocky MarcianoKO13 (15)23/09/1952United States Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United StatesLost World Heavyweight title. Fight was named Ring Magazine Fight of the Year for 1952.
Win51-16-2United States Ezzard CharlesUD1505/06/1952United States Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United StatesRetained World Heavyweight title.
Win50-16-2United States Ezzard CharlesKO7 (15)18/07/1951United States Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United StatesWon World Heavyweight title. Ring Magazine Fight of the Year for 1951.
Loss49-16-2United States Ezzard CharlesUD1507/03/1951United States Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, United StatesFor World Heavyweight title.
Loss49-15-2United States Rex LayneUD1024/11/1950United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States
Win49-14-2Germany Hein ten HoffUD1028/05/1950Germany VfR Mannheim, Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Win48-14-2United States Johnny ShkorKO1 (10)13/03/1950United States Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win47-14-2Cuba Omelio AgramonteTKO7 (10)03/03/1950United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States
Win46-14-2United States Harold JohnsonKO3 (10)08/02/1950United States Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win45-14-2Sweden Olle TandbergTKO5 (12)14/08/1949Sweden Raasunda Fotball Stadium, Stockholm, Sweden
Loss44-14-2United States Ezzard CharlesUD1522/06/1949United States Comiskey Park, Chicago, Illinois, United StatesFor vacant NBA World Heavyweight title.
Loss44-13-2United States Joe LouisKO11 (15)25/06/1948United States Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York, United StatesFor World Heavyweight title.
Loss44-12-2United States Joe LouisSD1505/12/1947United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United StatesFor World Heavyweight title.
Win44-11-2United States Joey MaximSD1023/06/1947United States Gilmore Field, Los Angeles, California, United States
Win43-11-2United States Elmer RayMD1004/03/1947United States Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida, United States
Win42-11-2United States Joey MaximMD1006/01/1947United States Convention Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Loss41-11-2United States Elmer RaySD1015/11/1946United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States
Loss41-10-2United States Joey MaximPTS1028/08/1946United States Public Service Ball Park, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win41-9-2United States Tommy GomezTKO3 (10)16/08/1946United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States
Win40-9-2United States Lee OmaUD1024/05/1946United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States
Win39-9-2United States Al BlakeTKO4 (10)20/03/1946United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win38-9-2United States Jimmy BivinsSD1025/02/1946United States Arena, Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Win37-9-2United States Johnny AllenKO3 (10)30/01/1946United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win36-9-2United States Curtis SheppardKO10 (10)10/12/1945United States Coliseum, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Win35-9-2United States Lee Q. MurrayDQ9 (10)12/11/1945United States Coliseum, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Win34-9-2United States Steve DudasTKO5 (10)23/10/1945United States Paterson, New Jersey, United States
Win33-9-2United States Johnny DensonKO2 (10)20/09/1945United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win32-9-2United States Joe BaksiPTS1002/08/1945United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win31-9-2United States Johnny AllenPTS815/03/1945United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win30-9-2United States Austin JohnsonPTS622/02/1945United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Loss29-9-2United States Johnny AllenPTS825/01/1945United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win29-8-2United States Jackie SaundersTKO2 (8)11/01/1945United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win28-8-2United States Ellis SingletonKO3 (8)28/06/1944United States Batesville A.C., Haddonfield, New Jersey, United States
Win27-8-2United States Felix Del PaoliPTS807/06/1944United States Batesville A.C., Haddonfield, New Jersey, United States
Loss26-8-2United States Abe SimonKO6 (8)12/02/1940United States Laurel Garden, Newark, New Jersey, United States
Win26-7-2United States Tiger Red LewisTKO6 (8)19/01/1940United States Cambria A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win25-7-2United States Curtis SheppardPTS818/11/1939United States Rockland Palace, New York, New York, United States
Win24-7-2Hungary Al BorosPTS814/08/1939United States Meadowbrook Bowl, Newark, New Jersey, United States
Win23-7-2United States Bob TowPTS823/12/1938United States 114th Infantry Armory, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Loss22-7-2United States Roy LazerPTS814/06/1938United States Fairview Arena, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Loss22-6-2United States Tiger Jack FoxPTS1010/05/1938United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win22-5-2United States Lorenzo PackKO4 (8)12/04/1938United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win21-5-2United States Art SykesKO4 (8)25/03/1938United States Cambria A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win20-5-2United States Jim WhitestPTS820/01/1938United States Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win19-5-2United States Freddie FiduciaPTS810/01/1938United States Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Loss18-5-2United States George BrothersPTS809/10/1937United States Rockland Palace, New York, New York, United States
Win18-4-2United States Elmer RayKO3 (6)25/09/1937United States Rockland Palace, New York, New York, United States
Win17-4-2United States Joe LippsKO2 (8)03/09/1937United States Garden Pier, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Loss16-4-2United States Tiger Jack FoxKO8 (10)22/05/1937United States Rockland Palace, New York, New York, United States
Loss16-3-2United States Billy KetchellPTS1001/09/1936United States Arena, Pennsauken, New Jersey, United States
Win16-2-2Carmen PassarellaPTS801/08/1936United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Draw15-2-2United States Billy KetchellPTS1014/07/1936United States Arena, Pennsauken, New Jersey, United States
Win15-2-1United States Phil JohnsonTKO3 (6)22/06/1936United States Phillies Ballpark, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win14-2-1Canada Louis LePageKO3 (6)16/06/1936United States Coney Island Velodrome, Brooklyn, New York, United States
Draw13-2-1United States Billy KetchellPTS1004/06/1936United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win13–2United States Joe ColucciKO4 (8)28/04/1936United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win12–2United States Willie ReddishPTS1016/03/1936United States Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Loss11–2United States Al EttoreKO8 (10)21/01/1936United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win11–1United States Roxie AllenKO7 (8)26/11/1935United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win10–1United States Al KingKO1 (8)29/10/1935United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win9–1United States Pat RolandKO4 (8)01/10/1935United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win8–1United States Lew AlvaKO1 (8)27/08/1935United States Arena, Pennsauken, New Jersey, United States
Win7–1United States Al LangKO1 (6)21/05/1935United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Loss6–1United States Henry TaylorPTS616/11/1933United States New Broadway A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win6–0United States Henry TaylorTKO1 (6)28/07/1933United States Arena, Pennsauken, New Jersey, United States
Win5–0United States Bob NorrisKO1 (6)05/05/1933United States Camden, New Jersey, United StatesExact date unknown.
Win4–0United States Carl MaysKO2 (6)20/04/1931United States Waltz Dream Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win3–0United States Frank MatthewsTKO4 (6)24/10/1930United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win2–0United States Jimmy O'ToolebTKO4 (6)10/10/1930United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win1–0United States Cowboy Frank WillisKO1 (6)09/09/1930United States Vineland Arena, Vineland, New Jersey, United States

Honors[edit]

In 2013, Walcott was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.[7]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Left Hook Stops Charles in 7th, Makes Walcott Oldest Champ, 1951, The Milwaukee Journal
  2. ^ a b "Joe Walcott in Primary for Sheriff". AP. June 28, 1968. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "A List Of Camden County's Past Sheriffs". Office of the Sheriff Camden County, New Jersey. Camden County Sheriff's Office. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c "Former Champ Wins Election". UPI. November 4, 1971. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  5. ^ "Jersey Joe Walcott In Sheriff's Race". AP. April 28, 1971. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  6. ^ "It's Sheriff Jersey Joe". The Age. November 11, 1971. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  7. ^ The Star Ledger. section four. page 4. August 24, 2014

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Ezzard Charles
World Heavyweight Champion
July 18, 1951–1952
Succeeded by
Rocky Marciano
Preceded by
Jess Willard
Oldest Heavyweight Champion
July 18, 1951 - November 5, 1994
Succeeded by
George Foreman
Preceded by
Sugar Ray Robinson
Edward J. Neil Trophy
(BWAA Fighter of the Year)

1951
Succeeded by
Rocky Marciano