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#1
Old 07-21-2008, 02:24 AM
JAB5239
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Default A closer look at Jersey Joe

I mentioned on another that I thought Jersey Joe Walcott was and is vastly underrated by many boxing fans today. Without a doubt, his skills measure up with the best fighters in any era. This is obvious watching him.
He also fought a who's who of the top fighters from his era with mixed results.
Walcott had a career record of 52-17-2(32). He is most remembered for his crushing 13th round ko loss to Rocky Marciano. After that, most fans today see 17 losses on his record and think he couldn't have been any good. But taking a closer look at his record shows that many of his fights were only 1 and 2 months apart. sometimes only weeks. I find it almost inevitable that he would have fought many of his fights with injuries.
Lets take a little closer look at these losses too.

Lost his 7th pro fight by decision.

Lost his 13th fight by ko to Al Ettore, who sported a 52-7-2 record.

Lost his 21st fight by decision to a guy with 68 fights

Lost his 22nd fight to Tiger Jack Fox by ko. Fox was 92-12-7 at the time.

Lost 25th fight by decision.

Lost his 30th and 31st fight by decision.

Lost his 36th fight by ko to Abe Simon, who outweighed him by 65 lbs.

Lost his 40th fight by decision.

Lost decisions in his 53rd and 54th fights to Joey Maxim and Elmer Ray, both by decision.

Lost his 58th fight by decision to Joe Louis. Louis is my favorite fighter of all time, but Walcott won that fight and was robbed.

Lost his 59th fight by ko to Louis.

Lost a decision to Ezzard Charles in his 60th fight

Lost decisions to both Rex Layne and Charles in his 66th and 67th fights

Lost his 70th and 71st fights by ko to Rocky Marciano.

Jersey Joe was never knocked out by second rate comp and fought many all time greats. Among the fighters he beat were such fighters as Elmer "violent" Ray, multiple times. Joey Maxim, multiple times. Harold Johnson. Ezzard Charles and Jimmy Bivins.
And while Walcott doesn't make my heavyweight top ten list, he probably would squeeze into the top 20, and that ain't to bad.
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#2
Old 07-21-2008, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAB5239 View Post
I mentioned on another that I thought Jersey Joe Walcott was and is vastly underrated by many boxing fans today. Without a doubt, his skills measure up with the best fighters in any era. This is obvious watching him.
He also fought a who's who of the top fighters from his era with mixed results.
Walcott had a career record of 52-17-2(32). He is most remembered for his crushing 13th round ko loss to Rocky Marciano. After that, most fans today see 17 losses on his record and think he couldn't have been any good. But taking a closer look at his record shows that many of his fights were only 1 and 2 months apart. sometimes only weeks. I find it almost inevitable that he would have fought many of his fights with injuries.
Lets take a little closer look at these losses too.

Lost his 7th pro fight by decision.

Lost his 13th fight by ko to Al Ettore, who sported a 52-7-2 record.

Lost his 21st fight by decision to a guy with 68 fights

Lost his 22nd fight to Tiger Jack Fox by ko. Fox was 92-12-7 at the time.

Lost 25th fight by decision.

Lost his 30th and 31st fight by decision.

Lost his 36th fight by ko to Abe Simon, who outweighed him by 65 lbs.

Lost his 40th fight by decision.

Lost decisions in his 53rd and 54th fights to Joey Maxim and Elmer Ray, both by decision.

Lost his 58th fight by decision to Joe Louis. Louis is my favorite fighter of all time, but Walcott won that fight and was robbed.

Lost his 59th fight by ko to Louis.

Lost a decision to Ezzard Charles in his 60th fight

Lost decisions to both Rex Layne and Charles in his 66th and 67th fights

Lost his 70th and 71st fights by ko to Rocky Marciano.

Jersey Joe was never knocked out by second rate comp and fought many all time greats. Among the fighters he beat were such fighters as Elmer "violent" Ray, multiple times. Joey Maxim, multiple times. Harold Johnson. Ezzard Charles and Jimmy Bivins.
And while Walcott doesn't make my heavyweight top ten list, he probably would squeeze into the top 20, and that ain't to bad.
Great post and kudos on your research!

Poet
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#3
Old 07-21-2008, 10:52 PM
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jersey joe is the man. he had a style and unfortunately was too ahead of his time to get the credit he deserved. boxers like toney and b-hop who have studied tapes have learned a lot from jersey joe! he beat joe louis that first time, no doubt!
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#4
Old 07-22-2008, 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by poet682006 View Post
Great post and kudos on your research!

Poet
Thank you sir. I appreciate that!
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#5
Old 07-22-2008, 12:38 AM
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Was the first one as boring as the second? If not then I should watch it huh?
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#6
Old 12-05-2009, 12:55 PM
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Walcott was cute, slick, crafty, full of tricks and could punch. Walcott didn't copy moves, he invented them. He was eccentric tecnician.

Like most fighters from around that time, Jersey Joe Walcott wasn't his real name. His real name was Arnold Raymond Cream. But he took the name Joe Walcott, after the legendary Welterweight. He was hoping the name change would gain him some much needed attention, it didn't.

Walcott was a family man. Growing up he was one of 12 sibilings. He ramained close to them all growing up, mainly his six sisters.

Walcott had a wife called Lydia and six children who in 1953 aged from seven to ninteen. Walcott was a devoted family man and religious man.

It made for a nice story Walcott being a family and religious man, and the pressed jumped all over it. Do Walcott was somehwhat ambivalent about making his religious beliefs a public matter. ''People will think I go to church for publicity''

He once instructed IBC publicist Harry Mendel ''Don't put it in the paper'' ''Write up the workout instead''

Virtually all thought Walcott was much older than he was. The first time he met Marciano he claimed to be 38 years of age. Most didn't belive him. Some maintained, he was at least forty, and even as old as 42 or 44 years of age.

Most of the press at the time made joked about Joe's age.

But nothing was easy for Walcott in his Boxing career. In the early part of his career no one paid attention to him, even with the name change. He often fought for small purses at short notice.

But in 1930's Walcott came close to getting his break on several occasions.

One being the year 1934. Walcott was working in Philadelphia under the guidance of trainer Jackie Blackburn. When Blackburn decided to move to Chicago to train a young Heavyweight called Joe Louis, he offered to take Walcott with him to train Louis.

But Walcott came down with a case of typhoid fever and had to decline the chance. Two years later, when Louis was fighting in big fights and earning huge purses, Walcott was still in the same position he had been in the previous two years.

Blackburn then remembered his former pupil and called him up to spar Louis. In the sparring session Walcott licked Louis. In one of the sessions he knocked Louis down and was let go from the camp.

Walcott continued to fight for buttons and get no attention. Like most black fighters of that time fighters, Walcott had difficulty getting financial backing from managers and promoters for being to good for there own good and due to the colour of there skin.

This ment they rarley if ever fought in big money fights or title fights. Due to the lack of financial resources, this ment not only cound't Walcott get big money fights, he was struggiling to feed his family.

Due to this he had to work many jobs as well as his boxing career.

Walcott later claimed he was literally hungry for more than a decade. ''I had the ability to succeed in the ring, but you can't do it with a gnawing at the pit of your stomach''

Most of Walcott's losses were down to lack of food and taking the bouts at short notice. In 1940 after getting knocked out by giant Heavyweight Abe Simon he retired, he had retired a few times in his career out of frustration, but this time he was serious.

In the next five years Walcott fought few to none bouts, and mainly focused on his day jobs.

But this would all change. After meeting Felix Bocchicchio, Walcott decided to return to the ring full time under the management of Bocchicchio.Who helped Walcott with small loans.

By late 1946 and 1947 Walcott was near the big time. He had been mixing it up and beating the likes of Joey Maxim and feared puncher Elmer Ray. In that time had also defeated the great Jimmy Bivins.

Bivins at that time was on the best form of his career and was on a incredible streak without a loss. Wins included Archie Moore, Ezzard Charles, Lloyd Marshall, and Oakland Billy Smith. Walcott took it on a razor thin decision.

He then was matched up with Joe Louis. Few give Walcott a chance going into the fight that he could defeat the great Joe Louis.

But he nearly did. Most of the ringside observers and boxing fans today think Walcott put on one of the best displays of his life, but was robbed out of a decision victory.

He would lose the rematch to Louis in 1948, getting stopped in 10. But Walcott didn't stop there. Walcott fought then Heavyweight Champion Ezzard Charles for the HW Title.

He would lose the first two attempts, but would carry on to get a shot at the title due to his solid performances and the fact that there weren't much else around at that time in the Heavyweight division.

Then on July 1951 Jersey Joe realized his dream. He knocked out Charles in 7 rounds with a picture perfect punch. Jersey Joe was Heavyweight Champiom of the world. He was a true Cinderella Man story.

It didn't last long, after defending the Title against Charles, Walcott was then matched up with the unbeaten Rocky Marciano. The fight took place at Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia 1952.

And in of the boxing best remembered bouts, Walcott was knocked out in the 13th round, when leading on the scorecards and having already dropped Marciano in the 1st round.

He was then stopped in a rematch by Marciano, when he failed to meet the count of 10 made by the ref in the 1st round. This would be his last fight.

I would like a movie done on Walcott. He come through so much and all the odds seemed to be against him. But he managed to prevail, and proved sometimes good guys do finish first.....

Last edited by JFB629; 12-05-2009 at 06:15 PM.
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Old 12-05-2009, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAB5239 View Post


Jersey Joe was never knocked out by second rate comp and fought many all time greats. Among the fighters he beat were such fighters as Elmer "violent" Ray, multiple times. Joey Maxim, multiple times. Harold Johnson. Ezzard Charles and Jimmy Bivins.
And while Walcott doesn't make my heavyweight top ten list, he probably would squeeze into the top 20, and that ain't to bad.
And also beat JOE BAKSI! Shoddy research Jabs I believe it was the Baksi win against the odds that re launched Walcott so to speak.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JFB629 View Post

In the next five years Walcott fought just three bouts, and mainly focused on his day jobs.

But this would all change. After meeting Felix Bocchicchio, Walcott decided to return to the ring full time under the management of Bocchicchio.Who helped Walcott with small loans
The story is that Walcott pointed to his coal store and said to Bocchicchio if you can fill that I'll sign

Wondeful fighter his career kind of followed the Archie Moore pattern of picking up his losses learning and by the time he got to the big time was a canny pro. A lot of fighters today could learn from them. Thing I always associate Walcott with is wonderful footwork, as good as any i've seen in a HW. Truly terrible as a refereee as most ex fighters are. Whiff of corruption when he was an administrator in boxing after retirement (New Jersey?) and Bocchiccio was well mobbed up apparently although that didn't seem to have much bearing on Walcott's career.

Nice post Jabs and JFB
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Old 12-05-2009, 02:45 PM
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I've read that he lost the Ettore fight on body blows and the Abe Simon fight basically on exhaustion. He didn't have much training at all until in his 30's.
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Old 12-05-2009, 07:23 PM
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Felix Bocchicchio, the man who is credited with saving the career of Walcott, was also quite a character to say the least. Walcott once called him my angel. He was anything but.......

In his past Bocchicchio had served time in jail, he like to gamble, and reportedly had ties with the Mob, some sources even indicate that there were even suspicion of murder, jailbreak, and larceny.

But him and Walcott were as close as brothers. ''We've been so close, that I'll do most anything for Joe and he'll do most anything for me''

Bocchicchio would say years later ''Joe and I are more than just manager and fighter''

Pictures of the two.......Bocchicchio is the one in the middle on the first picture.



Last edited by JFB629; 12-05-2009 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 12-05-2009, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFB629 View Post
Felix Bocchicchio, the man who is credited with saving the career of Walcott, was also quite a character to say the least. Walcott once called him my angel. He was anything but.......

In his past Bocchicchio had served time in jail, he like to gamble, and reportedly had ties with the Mob, some sources even indicate that there were even suspicion of murder, jailbreak, and larceny.

But him and Walcott were as close as brothers. ''We've been so close, that I'll do most anything for Joe and he'll do most anything for me''

Bocchicchio would say years later ''Joe and I are more than just manager and fighter''

Pictures of the two.......Bocchicchio is the one in the middle on the first picture.


And I believe the name of a character in The Godfather, not sure if that was a nod from Mario Puzo.
My trivia fact for the day
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