|Real name||Janos Ruthaly|
|Rated at||Light Heavyweight|
May 26, 1876|
Frahelž, Bohemia, Czech Republic
|Died||June 10, 1963(aged 87)|
|Wins by KO||28|
Light heavyweight championship claim
Root (with the support of some historians) claimed that he was the first light heavyweight champion of the world. His bout with George Gardiner on July 4, 1903, is claimed by some to be the first title bout in the new division. Root contended that his manager, Lou Housman, created the division and billed the Root vs. Gardner fight, which Gardner won by knockout in the twelfth round. The fight was caught on film. Jack Root, George Gardner, and Bob Fitzsimmons all held the light heavyweight world championship title in 1903.
During the 1980s, however, some boxing historians found records indicating that Joe Choynski won a twenty-round decision over Jimmy Ryan on August 18, 1899, in a fight billed as being for the light heavyweight championship. Choynski never seems to have made any claim to be the first light heavyweight champion, however.
Heavyweight title fight
On July 3, 1905, Root fought Marvin Hart for the vacant world heavyweight championship. The former champion, Jim Jeffries, had retired and declared that Hart and Root were the two top heavyweights. Jeffries refereed the fight to name the new champion, which Hart won by a twelfth-round knockout.
Root served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army during World War I. After his time in the service Root became the president and boxing manager of the renowned Los Angeles Olympic Auditorium.
- Goldman, Herbert (August 1999), "Jack Root: The First World Light Heavyweight Champion?", Boxing Digest, 41, no. 7: 56, 57