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#1
Old 12-23-2012, 08:08 PM
BKM-2010
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Default White fighters who didn't refuse to fight black fighters

Late 19th century/early 20th century were there any white fighters who didn't mind fighting black fighters even when they were becoming more successful?
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#2
Old 12-23-2012, 08:23 PM
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There was no real color line in boxing below the championship level from at least about the 1890s, and that primarily applied to the HW championship. Not to say there wasn't discrimination in selecting opponents for title fights, and black fighters also weren't as marketable so there was a monetary incentive to avoid them. But I think you'd be hard pressed to find any white fighter that eventually became a champion who didn't fight black opponents coming up the ranks.
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#3
Old 12-23-2012, 10:06 PM
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it's still a very interesting question actually. I'd love to hear who ducked who even through the 30's, and who fought everyone

Did Young Stribling fight alot of black fighters?
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:18 PM
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Well Jack Dempsey gets criticized for this, I'm not sure if that's true for the early part of his career though. But that is significant though, they obviously should have fought black fighters when they were already top contenders or champions, not just as prospects. But who did this?
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:54 PM
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Dempsey does (fairly) get criticized for not fighting black fighters, but I would place the blame more on his promotor, Tex Rickard and his manager, Doc Kearns, than Dempsey himself. Dempsey was a man of the people. All people. It seems to me like he let his handlers do their job and manage his career. They steered him away from black fighters to preserve his immense popularity. Harry Wills would have been a great scalp for his belt, and it sort of hurt his legacy but I have no doubt that he would have flattened him. Not that that counts, but I think that Dempsey woulda moida'd him.
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BKM-2010 View Post
Late 19th century/early 20th century were there any white fighters who didn't mind fighting black fighters even when they were becoming more successful?

There were some black champions in the lower divisions who got their shot. George Dixon was the first to win a title at bantamweight. He held it from 1890 to 1892 and the featherweight title from 1892 to 1900. Joe Walcott held the welterweight title for five years after winning it in 1901 and Joe Gans held the lightweight title from 1902 to 1908.

In the heavyweight division Tom Molineaux, who was a former slave, was the first black to fight for the title in 1809 against Britain's Tom Cribb but the fight was virtually ignored by the American press. As was Cribb's fight against Bill Richmond.

Jack Johnson was the first to get a shot in the modern era when he fought Tommy Burn's for the title in 1908. Before that Peter Jackson had fought Jim Corbett to a draw in 1891, but was refused a rematch once Corbett became champion. John L. Sullivan also drew the colour line. The issue was that the heavyweight title carried a lot of symbolic value in terms of supposed national and racial superiority. So blacks fighting for the title was a potential threat to white supremacy and couldn't be risked. After Johnson of course, it wasn't permitted again until Louis fought Braddock in 1937.
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