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Jersey Joe Walcott Biography - Born In Merchantville, New Jersey, Blackburn Takes Over As Trainer, Loses To Four Top-ranked Fighters

boxer title heavyweight boxing


American boxer

One of the most persistent boxers of the 20th century, Jersey Joe Walcott refused to give up his dream of winning the world heavyweight title. Long after most boxers would have abandoned all hope, Walcott battled on. On July 18, 1951, he became, at the age of thirty-seven, the oldest boxer ever to become the heavyweight champ, knocking out Ezzard Charles in the seventh round to finally take the title he had so long pursued. For more than four decades, he held the distinction of being the oldest boxer to win the heavyweight title, until 45-year-old George Foreman won the crown in 1994. After retiring from the ring, Walcott remained active in boxing as a referee and later became chairman of the New Jersey State Boxing Commission. Sadly, his tenure in the latter position was marred by charges that he had taken bribes. Despite this stain on his reputation, Walcott will forever stand as an inspiration to dreamers everywhere that perseverance can pay off.

Sketch by Don Amerman

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almost 8 years ago

My sister Ruth & I went to Borough Jr. High with Jersey Joe's daughters. I remember him working with juveniles and being a very firm but fair man. When he won the title our entire street (Segal) celebrated. He was a man & father his children can be very proud of.

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over 8 years ago

I did not know much about boxing when I was growing up.I do recall vividly that "Jersey Joe" was the talk of the neighborhood.He lived across the street from me and my family in Camden,New Jersey.I was only two years old when he clinched the title,however he was quite the celebrity and he was the subject of many conversations decades later .He was also known later on for his work in the community.I cherish the memories of the old Cooper Street neighborhood(which no longer exists).