Chalky Wright

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Chalky Wright
Statistics
Real name Albert Wright
Nickname(s) Chalky
Rated at Featherweight
Nationality American
Born (1912-02-10)February 10, 1912
Durango, Mexico
Died August 12, 1957(1957-08-12) (aged 45)
Los Angeles, California
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 226
Wins 161
Wins by KO 83
Losses 44
Draws 19

Albert "Chalky" Wright (February 10, 1912 – August 12, 1957) was a black American featherweight boxer who fought from 1928 to 1948. His career record was 161 wins (with 83 knockouts), 44 losses and 19 draws. In 2003, Wright made The Ring magazine's list of the 100 greatest punchers of all time.

Biography[edit]

Wright was born in Durango, Mexico.[1] Wright's family were migrant farm workers, during the depression era. Wright was the trainer of lightweight contender Tommy Campbell in 1950.

Wright served as a chauffeur and bodyguard for actress Mae West.[2] Wright helped West deal with a series of extortion threats in 1935 while in her employ.[2] West, a boxing fan and one of Hollywood's wealthiest women, backed Wright's career.[2][3] There were rumors that West and Wright were intimate, but both denied the rumors.[2] Hollywood Confidential ran a story entitled "Mae West's Open Door Policy" alleging her relationship with Wright.[4] West's ex-husband Frank Wallace also claimed Wright was among those having an affair with West in his divorce filing.[5]

Wright could speak three languages.[6]

Wright died in Los Angeles on August 12, 1957, after slipping in his bathtub.[1]

Professional career[edit]

Wright turned professional at the age of 16, winning a fight with Nilo Balles after four rounds.[1] His early career was spent in Southern California.[1]

Wright began fighting on the East Coast of the United States in 1938.[1] The five-foot, 7½-inch Wright was unusually tall for his 126-pound weight, giving him a long reach.[1] By 1941, he was among the world's top featherweight boxers.[1] He beat Sal Bartolo to get a chance at the New York State Athletic Commission featherweight championship then held by Joey Archibald.[1][7] On September 11, 1941, Wright dethroned Archibald by scoring a TKO in the eleventh round. Wright successfully defended the title against former champion Harry Jeffra (TKO 10) on June 19, 1942, but lost his title on a decision to Willie Pep on November 20, 1942.[8] In 1938, Wright also met the great Henry Armstrong, but was knocked out in three rounds.

Wright's pre-match regimen was described as "unorthodox" by the Baltimore Afro-American:

For example, before the Terranova fight Chalky was in and out of the Hotel Theresa bar night in and day out for four days. He smoked evil smelling, twisted cigars. He drank freely of whatever his palate called for. He went where he wanted as late as 2 and 3 a.m., and then climbed into the ring at the Garden to put on a master exhibition of boxing and hitting power.[6]

Honors[edit]

Named to The Ring' 100 Greatest Punchers (2003).

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Albert (Chalky) Wright". International Boxing Hall of Fame. International Boxing Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2011-07-13. 
  2. ^ a b c d Watts, Jill (2003). Mae West: An icon in black and white. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 207–208. ISBN 978-0-19-516112-0. 
  3. ^ Watts, Mae West, p. 242.
  4. ^ Watts, Mae West, p. 275.
  5. ^ Louvish, Simon (2006). Mae West: It ain't no sin. Macmillan. p. 350. ISBN 978-0-312-34878-6. 
  6. ^ a b DeLeighbur, Don (1943-06-08). "Cigar-Smoking Chalky Wright Is Entitled to Championship Bout". Baltimore Afro-American 51 (43) (Baltimore, MD: The Afro-American Company). p. 18. Retrieved 2011-07-13. 
  7. ^ "Willie Pep and Chalky Wright Scrap Tonight". The Spartanburg Herald (Spartanburg, SC). AP. 1942-11-20. p. 16. Retrieved 2011-07-13. 
  8. ^ "Chalky Wright Beaten By Pep". The Washington Reporter (20590) (Washington, PA). AP. 1942-11-21. p. 10. Retrieved 2011-07-13.