Jersey Joe Walcott

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Jersey Joe Walcott
Jersey Joe Wolcott Robert Culp Cains Hundred 1962.JPG
Walcott with Robert Culp in Cain's Hundred, 1962.
Statistics
Real name Arnold Raymond Cream
Nickname(s) Jersey Joe
Rated at Heavyweight
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Reach 74 in (188 cm)
Nationality American
Born (1914-01-31)January 31, 1914
Merchantvillle, New Jersey
Died February 25, 1994(1994-02-25) (aged 80)
Camden, New Jersey
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 71
Wins 51
Wins by KO 32
Losses 18
Draws 2
No contests 0

Arnold Raymond Cream (January 31, 1914 – February 25, 1994), better known as Jersey Joe Walcott, was a world heavyweight boxing champion. He broke the world's record for the oldest man to win the world's heavyweight title when he earned it at the age of 37 years, 168 days. That record would eventually be broken on November 5, 1994, by 45 year old George Foreman, who defeated the 26 year old Heavyweight champion of the world Michael Moorer, to win the WBA and IBF heavyweight titles.

Background[edit]

Walcott was born in Pennsauken, New Jersey. His father was an immigrant from St. Thomas, Danish West Indies. His mother was from Jordantown, New Jersey. Walcott was only 15 years old when his father died. He quit school and worked in a soup factory to support his mother and 11 younger brothers and sisters. He also began training as a boxer. He took the name of his boxing idol, Joe Walcott, a welterweight champion from Barbados. He added "Jersey" to distinguish himself and show where he was from.

Boxing career[edit]

He debuted as a professional boxer on September 9, 1930, fighting Cowboy Wallace and winning by a knockout in round one. After five straight knockout wins, in 1933, he lost for the first time, beaten on points by Henry Wilson in Philadelphia.

He built a record of 45 wins, 11 losses and 1 draw before challenging for the world title for the first time. Walcott lost early bouts against world-class competition. He lost a pair of fights to Tiger Jack Fox and was knocked out by contender Abe Simon. But that would change in 1945 when Walcott beat top heavyweights such as Joe Baksi, Lee Q. Murray, Curtis Sheppard and Jimmy Bivins. He closed out 1946 with a pair of losses to former light heavyweight champ Joey Maxim and heavyweight contender Elmer Ray, but promptly avenged those defeats in 1947.

On December 5, 1947, he fought Joe Louis, at thirty three years of age breaking the record as the oldest man to fight for the world heavyweight title. Despite dropping Louis in round one, and once again in round four, he lost a 15 round split decision. Most ringside observers and boxing writers felt Walcott deserved the win, and so there was a rematch on June 25, 1948, when Louis prevailed once again, this time by a knockout in round 11.

June 22 of 1949, Walcott got another chance to become world heavyweight champion, when he and Ezzard Charles met for the title left vacant by Louis. However, Charles prevailed, winning by decision in 15 rounds. Walcott, disappointed but eager to see his dream of being a champion come true, went on, and in 1950, he won four of his five bouts, including a three round knock-out of future world light heavyweight champion Harold Johnson.

On March 7, 1951, he and Charles fought for a second time and once again Charles won a 15 round decision to retain his world title. But on July 18, he joined a handful of boxers who claimed the world title in their fifth try, when he knocked out Charles in seven rounds in Pittsburgh, to finally become world's heavyweight champion, at the relatively old age of 37.[1] This made him the oldest man ever to win the world heavyweight crown (a distinction he would hold until George Foreman won the title at age 45 in 1994).

Walcott retained the title with a 15 round decision victory against arch-enemy Charles. On September 23, 1952, he defended his title for the second time. His opponent was the undefeated Rocky Marciano. In the first round Marciano was knocked down with a left hook for the first time in his career. Walcott was clearly ahead in the scoring and Marciano needed a knockout to win, according to two of the three official scorecards. In the thirteenth round with Marciano pressuring Walcott against the ropes, both threw simultaneous right hands. Marciano landed his punch first on Walcott´s jaw in what is considered one of the hardest punches thrown in boxing history. Walcott collapsed with his arm hanging over the ropes then fell to the canvas where he was counted out. There was a rematch in Chicago, on May 15, 1953, and the second time around, Walcott was again defeated by Marciano by a knockout in the first round.

Post boxing[edit]

Arnold "Jersey Joe Walcott" Cream[2][3]
Sheriff of Camden County, New Jersey
In office
1971[3] – 1974[3]
Preceded by Martin Segal[3]
Succeeded by Joseph W. Coyle[3]
Personal details
Born (1914-01-31)January 31, 1914
Merchantvillle, New Jersey
Died February 25, 1994(1994-02-25) (aged 80)
Camden, New Jersey
Resting place Sunset Memorial Park Cemetery
Pennsauken, New Jersey
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Residence Camden, New Jersey
Occupation Boxer

He did not go away from the celebrity scene after boxing. In 1956, he co-starred with Humphrey Bogart and Max Baer in the boxing drama The Harder They Fall. In 1963, he tried professional wrestling, losing to Lou Thesz. Thesz pinned Walcott in the fifth round, but has stated that Walcott knocked him (Thesz) down and most likely out in that fifth round. As he fell to the floor, he relied on instinct, grabbing Walcotts knees, taking him down with him and stretching him out for the pin.

In 1965, he refereed the controversial world heavyweight championship bout between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston. Walcott lost the count as Ali circled around a floored Liston and Walcott tried to get him back to a neutral corner. Then Walcott looked outside the ring (presumably to the ringside count keeper) as Ali and Liston went at each other before Walcott instructed them to keep on fighting, then Walcott approached the fighters and abruptly stopped the fight. Walcott would never be appointed as a referee after this bout. It should be said, however, that most of the controversy surrounding this fight had nothing to do with Walcott, as this was the famous fight with the "phantom punch".

Political career[edit]

After retiring, Walcott worked for the Camden County corrections department.[4] In 1968, he ran for Sheriff of Camden County, but lost in the Democratic primary to Spencer H. Smith, Jr.[2][5] That same year he was named director of community relations for Camden.[4]

In 1971 he once again ran for Camden County Sheriff. He defeated Republican William Strang in the general election.[4] He was the first African-American to serve as Sheriff in Camden County.[6]

He served as chairman of the New Jersey State Athletic Commission from 1975 until 1984, when he stepped down at the mandatory retirement age of 70. Walcott was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York.

Professional boxing record[edit]

51 Wins (32 knockouts, 19 decisions), 18 Losses (6 knockouts, 12 decision), 2 Draws [1]
Res. Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Loss 51-18-2 United States Rocky Marciano KO 1 (15) 15/05/1953 United States Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, United States For World Heavyweight title.
Loss 51-17-2 United States Rocky Marciano KO 13 (15) 23/09/1952 United States Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States Lost World Heavyweight title. Fight was named Ring Magazine Fight of the Year for 1952.
Win 51-16-2 United States Ezzard Charles UD 15 05/06/1952 United States Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States Retained World Heavyweight title.
Win 50-16-2 United States Ezzard Charles KO 7 (15) 18/07/1951 United States Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States Won World Heavyweight title. Ring Magazine Fight of the Year for 1951.
Loss 49-16-2 United States Ezzard Charles UD 15 07/03/1951 United States Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, United States For World Heavyweight title.
Loss 49-15-2 United States Rex Layne UD 10 24/11/1950 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States
Win 49-14-2 Germany Hein ten Hoff UD 10 28/05/1950 Germany VfR Mannheim, Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Win 48-14-2 United States Johnny Shkor KO 1 (10) 13/03/1950 United States Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 47-14-2 Cuba Omelio Agramonte TKO 7 (10) 03/03/1950 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States
Win 46-14-2 United States Harold Johnson KO 3 (10) 08/02/1950 United States Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 45-14-2 Sweden Olle Tandberg TKO 5 (12) 14/08/1949 Sweden Raasunda Fotball Stadium, Stockholm, Sweden
Loss 44-14-2 United States Ezzard Charles UD 15 22/06/1949 United States Comiskey Park, Chicago, Illinois, United States For vacant NBA World Heavyweight title.
Loss 44-13-2 United States Joe Louis KO 11 (15) 25/06/1948 United States Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York, United States For World Heavyweight title.
Loss 44-12-2 United States Joe Louis SD 15 05/12/1947 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States For World Heavyweight title.
Win 44-11-2 United States Joey Maxim SD 10 23/06/1947 United States Gilmore Field, Los Angeles, California, United States
Win 43-11-2 United States Elmer Ray MD 10 04/03/1947 United States Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida, United States
Win 42-11-2 United States Joey Maxim MD 10 06/01/1947 United States Convention Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Loss 41-11-2 United States Elmer Ray SD 10 15/11/1946 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States
Loss 41-10-2 United States Joey Maxim PTS 10 28/08/1946 United States Public Service Ball Park, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win 41-9-2 United States Tommy Gomez TKO 3 (10) 16/08/1946 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States
Win 40-9-2 United States Lee Oma UD 10 24/05/1946 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States
Win 39-9-2 United States Al Blake TKO 4 (10) 20/03/1946 United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win 38-9-2 United States Jimmy Bivins SD 10 25/02/1946 United States Arena, Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Win 37-9-2 United States Johnny Allen KO 3 (10) 30/01/1946 United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win 36-9-2 United States Curtis Sheppard KO 10 (10) 10/12/1945 United States Coliseum, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Win 35-9-2 United States Lee Q. Murray DQ 9 (10) 12/11/1945 United States Coliseum, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Win 34-9-2 United States Steve Dudas TKO 5 (10) 23/10/1945 United States Paterson, New Jersey, United States
Win 33-9-2 United States Johnny Denson KO 2 (10) 20/09/1945 United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win 32-9-2 United States Joe Baksi PTS 10 02/08/1945 United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win 31-9-2 United States Johnny Allen PTS 8 15/03/1945 United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win 30-9-2 United States Austin Johnson PTS 6 22/02/1945 United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Loss 29-9-2 United States Johnny Allen PTS 8 25/01/1945 United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win 29-8-2 United States Jackie Saunders TKO 2 (8) 11/01/1945 United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win 28-8-2 United States Ellis Singleton KO 3 (8) 28/06/1944 United States Batesville A.C., Haddonfield, New Jersey, United States
Win 27-8-2 United States Felix Del Paoli PTS 8 07/06/1944 United States Batesville A.C., Haddonfield, New Jersey, United States
Loss 26-8-2 United States Abe Simon KO 6 (8) 12/02/1940 United States Laurel Garden, Newark, New Jersey, United States
Win 26-7-2 United States Tiger Red Lewis TKO 6 (8) 19/01/1940 United States Cambria A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 25-7-2 United States Curtis Sheppard PTS 8 18/11/1939 United States Rockland Palace, New York, New York, United States
Win 24-7-2 Hungary Al Boros PTS 8 14/08/1939 United States Meadowbrook Bowl, Newark, New Jersey, United States
Win 23-7-2 United States Bob Tow PTS 8 23/12/1938 United States 114th Infantry Armory, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Loss 22-7-2 United States Roy Lazer PTS 8 14/06/1938 United States Fairview Arena, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Loss 22-6-2 United States Tiger Jack Fox PTS 10 10/05/1938 United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win 22-5-2 United States Lorenzo Pack KO 4 (8) 12/04/1938 United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win 21-5-2 United States Art Sykes KO 4 (8) 25/03/1938 United States Cambria A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 20-5-2 United States Jim Whitest PTS 8 20/01/1938 United States Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 19-5-2 United States Freddie Fiducia PTS 8 10/01/1938 United States Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Loss 18-5-2 United States George Brothers PTS 8 09/10/1937 United States Rockland Palace, New York, New York, United States
Win 18-4-2 United States Elmer Ray KO 3 (6) 25/09/1937 United States Rockland Palace, New York, New York, United States
Win 17-4-2 United States Joe Lipps KO 2 (8) 03/09/1937 United States Garden Pier, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Loss 16-4-2 United States Tiger Jack Fox KO 8 (10) 22/05/1937 United States Rockland Palace, New York, New York, United States
Loss 16-3-2 United States Billy Ketchell PTS 10 01/09/1936 United States Arena, Pennsauken, New Jersey, United States
Win 16-2-2 Carmen Passarella PTS 8 01/08/1936 United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Draw 15-2-2 United States Billy Ketchell PTS 10 14/07/1936 United States Arena, Pennsauken, New Jersey, United States
Win 15-2-1 United States Phil Johnson TKO 3 (6) 22/06/1936 United States Phillies Ballpark, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 14-2-1 Canada Louis LePage KO 3 (6) 16/06/1936 United States Coney Island Velodrome, Brooklyn, New York, United States
Draw 13-2-1 United States Billy Ketchell PTS 10 04/06/1936 United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win 13–2 United States Joe Colucci KO 4 (8) 28/04/1936 United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win 12–2 United States Willie Reddish PTS 10 16/03/1936 United States Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Loss 11–2 United States Al Ettore KO 8 (10) 21/01/1936 United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win 11–1 United States Roxie Allen KO 7 (8) 26/11/1935 United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win 10–1 United States Al King KO 1 (8) 29/10/1935 United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win 9–1 United States Pat Roland KO 4 (8) 01/10/1935 United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win 8–1 United States Lew Alva KO 1 (8) 27/08/1935 United States Arena, Pennsauken, New Jersey, United States
Win 7–1 United States Al Lang KO 1 (6) 21/05/1935 United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Loss 6–1 United States Henry Taylor PTS 6 16/11/1933 United States New Broadway A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 6–0 United States Henry Taylor TKO 1 (6) 28/07/1933 United States Arena, Pennsauken, New Jersey, United States
Win 5–0 United States Bob Norris KO 1 (6) 05/05/1933 United States Camden, New Jersey, United States Exact date unknown.
Win 4–0 United States Carl Mays KO 2 (6) 20/04/1931 United States Waltz Dream Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 3–0 United States Frank Matthews TKO 4 (6) 24/10/1930 United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win 2–0 United States Jimmy O'Tooleb TKO 4 (6) 10/10/1930 United States Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win 1–0 United States Cowboy Frank Willis KO 1 (6) 09/09/1930 United States Vineland Arena, Vineland, New Jersey, United States

Honors[edit]

In 2013, Walcott was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.[7]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Left Hook Stops Charles in 7th, Makes Walcott Oldest Champ, 1951, The Milwaukee Journal
  2. ^ a b "Joe Walcott in Primary for Sheriff". AP. June 28, 1968. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "A List Of Camden County's Past Sheriffs". Office of the Sheriff Camden County, New Jersey. Camden County Sheriff's Office. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c "Former Champ Wins Election". UPI. November 4, 1971. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  5. ^ "Jersey Joe Walcott In Sheriff's Race". AP. April 28, 1971. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  6. ^ "It's Sheriff Jersey Joe". The Age. November 11, 1971. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  7. ^ The Star Ledger. section four. page 4. August 24, 2014

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Ezzard Charles
World Heavyweight Champion
July 18, 1951–1952
Succeeded by
Rocky Marciano
Preceded by
Jess Willard
Oldest Heavyweight Champion
July 18, 1951 - November 5, 1994
Succeeded by
George Foreman
Preceded by
Sugar Ray Robinson
Edward J. Neil Trophy
(BWAA Fighter of the Year)

1951
Succeeded by
Rocky Marciano