Category Archives: History

Young Corbett III

By David Martinez / Boxing Historian /

Young Corbett III was born Rafelle Capabianca Giordano in the Province of Protenza near Naples, Italy on May 27, 1905. His family emigrated to the United States when Corbett was only a couple of months old, settling in the Pittsburg area.

In 1909 the family moved to Fresno, California and that is where Corbett grew up. As a kid he attended local schools, sold newspapers and shined shoes.

At a young age he took up boxing at a local gym under the guidance of Buzz Martin, a professional boxer.

In the Fall of 1919 at the age of 14 and weighing 90 pounds, Corbett made his professional debut.  After his first five bouts he had a disappointing ring record of 1 win, 2 losses, and 2 draws, with one bout ending in a 4th round knockout loss. This did not discourage Corbett who fought as a southpaw. He fought almost on a monthly basis for the next 13 years, a total of over a 100 fights, against mostly average fighters with the most notable being Filipino great Ceferino Garcia whom he beat twice, both by 10 round decision.

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Boxing Autographs

I was approached at regarding the sale of a collection of historically significant boxing autographs.  A collection of this magnitude is seldom seen and seldom, if ever, becomes available for purchase.       

Here’s a complete list of these classic autographs and their descriptions:

SONNY LISTON (Signature on paper w/his picture and all best wishes from Sonny Liston – World Heavyweight Champion)

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George “KO” Chaney

By David Martinez / Boxing Historian /

The memory of a fighter that has disappeared in the boxing minds of today is that of George Chaney.

A fine record of eighty-six knockouts in a sixteen year career was an outstanding feat in itself, giving him the nickname “KO”.

Chaney was born in 1893, in Baltimore, Maryland of Irish decent. In his career he weighted 118 to 135 pounds and fought in the bantamweight, featherweight, and lightweight divisions. He stood 5 feet, one-and-half    inches, his professional career started in 1910 and ended 1925.

His southpaw style was as good as any boxer, which included hard hitting from either hand.

He fought the best that were around in his day which included Charley Goldman, Billy Herman, Al Delmont, Phil McGovern, Kid Williams, Young Britt, Johnny Dundee, John Kilbane, Rocky Kansas, Abe Attell, Lew Tendler, Philadelphia Pal Moore, Willie Ritchie, Danny Kramer just to name a few.

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Jimmy Barry

By David Martinez / Boxing Historian /

There is a boxer that nobody ever talks about these days. A boxer who seems to have been lost in the fog of time, but whom I rate as one of the finest to ever come out of Chicago! His name is Jimmy Barry. He was known as “Little Tiger” and this 5-feet-2 Irish kid was as good as they come.

Born on March 7, 1870 he started his professional boxing career in 1891, winning 27 straight without a loss, with 18 of those wins coming by knockout.  On December 5, 1893 he knocked out Jack Levy in 17 rounds to win the “100 pound Championship of America”.

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Classic Boxing Autographs – FOR SALE!

I was recently approached at regarding the sale of a collection of historically

significant boxing autographs. A collection of this magnitude is seldom seen and seldom, if ever, becomes available for purchase.       

Here’s a complete list of the autographs and their descriptions:

SONNY LISTON (Signature on paper w/his picture and all best wishes from Sonny Liston – World Heavyweight Champion)

MAXIE ROSENBLOOM (Signature in book w/his picture that looks like cut out of a newspaper)

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Owen Moran

By David Martinez /

When people ask me “who was the toughest and roughest boxer never to win a championship”, although I can think of many, my first response is Owen Moran.

Born in Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom on October 4, 1884, he was one of England’s finest that fought as a flyweight, bantamweight, featherweight and lightweight. His nickname was “The Fearless”.

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Battling Siki

By David Martinez / Boxing Historian /
Battling Siki (1887-1925) was one of the most recognizable black boxers in the early twentieth century. He was the first African to win a world championship.
Born Amadou M’Barick Fall on September 16, 1897, Siki was taken from St. Louis, Senegal, French West Africa to live in Paris, France by an actress. He also carried the name Baye Phal, which is a Senegalese name corresponding to Louis.   
To begin his boxing career in 1912, he chose the fight name of Battling Siki as it is a Senegalese word which parents apply to their children such as “darling” in English or “cherie” in French. He stated “white men could easily remember such a name.”
Today, one can find his legacy in the name of popular rock group, a character in Xena – Warrior Princess, a hotel in his homeland of Senegal, and various professional wrestlers who have used Battling Siki as their stage name. He fought until 1914, then would serve in the French colonial forces under the name of Louis Phal or Bayne Phal. Bayne is a Senegalese name corresponding to Louis.

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Terry McGovern – Terrible Terry

By David Martinez / Boxing Historian /

At the turn of the 20th century, Brooklyn was becoming a thriving suburb of its own in the New York Metropolitan area.

It was the home of the Brooklyn Bridge, Coney Island, the Trolley Dodgers National League baseball team, and was also the home of “Terrible” Terry McGovern who had migrated there from Johnstown, Pennsylvania at the age of six.

The first fight for the Irish-American kid was at Brooklyn’s Jackson Club in early 1897, an amateur bout that ended in a first round victory over Jack Shea. That event would officially launch a stellar career in boxing for the young McGovern who turned pro that same year.

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Boxing and Ohio

*** FLASHBACK – this article originally appeared on on October 22, 2012

By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer

NOTE: Jim Amato has contributed to since 2008. His opinions and input to this website are honest and at the highest quality. His expertise in boxing is respected and appreciated by all. To view all of Jim’s articles – go to Categories section and click onto his name.

The history of great boxers to come out of the fine state of Ohio is rich and glorious. Many came well before my time. Jimmy Bivins and Johnny Risko. Joey Maxim, Paul Pirrone and the great Ezzard Charles. Need I go on?

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George Dixon – “Little Chocolate”

By David Martinez / Boxing Historian /
I recently took a vacation to eastern Canada and the New England area. One of the stops on the trip was Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada which I found to be an amazing place with lots of history.
When it comes to boxing history, I always think of one fighter from that area:  George Dixon.  People today think of “Little Chocolate” being Roman Gonzalez and Peter Quillin self-aor, for those that remember him, the great Cuban “Kid Chocolate” from the thirties. The first Chocolate was actually George Dixon – nicknamed “Little Chocolate.”
 Born in Halifax on July 29, 1870, Dixon was one of the greatest fighters of all time. He held the paperweight, bantamweight and featherweight world titles in a career than stretched 20 years, from 1886 to 1906.
Dixon only stood 5 feet 3 1/2 inches, but was a marvelous boxer with outstanding defensive skills, and a hard hitter with an incredibly long reach for his size.  He was the first black world champion in any weight class, while being the first ever Canadian-born boxing champion. He was also the first to win a championship in multiple weight classes and the first to regain a championship after losing it.

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